Misc Homemade masks and other medical/herbal stuff

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I put this on the main preparations thread but I wanted to put it here too because it will be easier to find and other people might want to add things like homemade patterns for period/incontinence pads, herbal poultice holders, hot water bottle covers and just about anything crafty that can be useful for medical/herbal purposes.

OK I will do this as its own thread if required by here goes:

For the homemade masks - the idea (per Nightwolf) is to "saturate" the homemade mask (made of several layers of breathable but firmly woven fabric, like cotton) with salt.

That means:

Boil your water and keep adding salt to it until your spoon comes out with salt crystals on it and/or you just can't get anymore salt in without making mud.

Now take the mask and shape it if you can (I'm not sure how that works I haven't tried it) and/or just hang it up to dry in as clean an area as you can manage (or outside in the sun if you've got that option).

These are best worn OVER A simple surgical mask (double protection) but can work on their own - they work because the salt absorbs and crystalizes droplets - of course, they need to be washed and reboiled after you go out in public, or if someone coughs/sneezes on you at home.

If you are wearing these masks on their own, the mask (or the under-mask) must be as sealed as possible using surgical tape or even petroleum jelly) and secured firmly to the head.

Homemade FACE SHIELDS (not masks shields) can be made just as you saw in China by cutting the bottom off of a full-sized plastic water bottle.

These will protect the face for people wearing glasses or who do not have goggles, they are NOT a mask, they will NOT protect from infecting the mouth and nose but they will keep your eyes safe.


Here are the videos my engineering housemate made as a guide when she made our masks, note if you use the ear holders as she did (instead of long ties) be sure to have shoelaces or another tie to have them attach more firmly to the head especially if you don't have an under mask/regular surgical mask underneath.


(provided by my Engineer housemate but she didn't make the videos, she couldn't find the one from Thailand that said these were N95 equivalents, probably because it was taken down again as Nightwolf couldn't find it again either - it probably is only that high a rating with the salt and over a regular mask but I'm guessing)

This is the tutorial I followed

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB2xyo-uSSU


Here is one in child-size

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE3zfvHfJns


Melodi's Housemates cut out patterns:
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
The photos are just not showing but I'll try again =didn't work again I will have to try something else.



 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Great job, Melodi! Thanks!

I will say I can't imagine wearing one (treated with salt) on its own. Ever spent time around saltwater ? Even though it is MUCH less than a saturated solution, clothing worn while swimming quickly starts irritating skin. I can't imagine wearing one directly on my face.

I'm thinking of designing a "carrier" mask that I would slip a salt treated insert into. It would provide multiple layers, for more protection, and could be tossed in boiling water to sterilize/clean it. The insert could then be retreated and reused... obviously, this isn't an instant process, so you'll need multiples of the pocket masks and the inserts.

Summerthyme is
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
I think an internal and non-salted lining would be a really good idea - we have surgical masks for the moment (my three pharmacies and hardware trip two weeks ago, plus Nightwolf's going to farm stores in outdoor working clothing) but if they run out, I think I'll suggest we do double masks, one unsalted and the outer one salted.

As Nightwofl said, nothing is perfect but somethings that may look or sound silly, like the face shield made from a water bottle really can lower your chances of infection enormously especially when combined with serious hand washing, hand sanitizers etc.

He also said that even the Chinese desperation practice of putting plastic bags over the head, especially long ones like the lady used with her umbrella and her young child would help as SHIELDS (not masks) but again greatly lower the chances of infection from direct contact with droplets.

I'm going to see if I can find the water bottle cover, I think even tea cozies and related items can go on this thread - many infusions need to sit warm for up to ten minutes or longer and I learned after I moved to rural Ireland with bad heating, why people have tea cozies - before I had them right up there for knitting with the hand-made dolls little old ladies used to make when I was a kid to cover the tolit paper rolls and/or Victorians knitting "socks" to hide the piano legs.
 

Cardinal

Snark: a higher form of communication
_______________
Is there anything besides salt that would work to soak the mask in?
 

kyrsyan

Veteran Member
When I was super sick last spring my immune system crash for a while. I was catching anything and everything. To help, I debated homemade but I found air masks with replaceable charcoal and N95 filters. I just checked Amazon and the affordable ones are gone. But, if you can get the filters, it really wouldn't be hard to make a mask to go over them. Mine are out and accessible. Unfortunately, I can't wear them when I'm most exposed.
And what about using colloidal silver as the water to do the salt mask if you do it that way.
And I'm going to add that I am glad I already have them. Wow. Prices have jumped and feedback is showing that some people are not getting what they paid for.
 
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Melodi

Disaster Cat
The salt is what makes them work - Nightwolf sort of explained it to me, the salt catches droplets, crystalizes them and that keeps them from infecting your mouth or your nose.

Nightwolf says that while Colloidal Silver is great for burns, cuts, and other external breaks; it isn't recommended to breathe it or use it internally (at least not from what he's managed to find out).
 

kyrsyan

Veteran Member
I get the salt part. I have no problems understanding that. But it would be my last resort because pf how much salt it would use. Unless you could use road salt/rock salt. Because I can pick that up in large bags for cheap. Especially this time of year.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
Just a note, I mentioned this on the main board - per Nightwolf you need the salt on the outside layer of the mask for it to work - it works by "capturing" droplets and crystalizing them so they don't infect people.

So while a "salt insert" might not work, an outside layer boiled in salt attached over a non-salted layer or simply a non-salted fabric/commercial mask should work fine.

Again, Nightwolf said not to use the colloidal silver for breathing, that's a personal choice but it won't work in a mask the way the salt does, so I'm not sure I would use it for homemade mask making.
 

Krayola

Veteran Member
I am not a crafty type person and I don't know much about sewing. I do own a sewing machine and I want to take a stab at making some type of surgical mask.

What type of fabric do I need to buy? It sounds like any light-weight cotton will do? What about polyester or poly/cotton blends? Need advice from the people who know about this kind of thing.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
You want something that will breathe probably cotton or a cotton-poly mix you can still breathe through should work.

Update from Nightwolf please use ONLY Sea Salt or Kosher salt if you possibly can as they have no impurities and additives - obviously any port in a storm but that is the best choice.
 

Melodi

Disaster Cat
This is wood and metal crafting, we may want to post this elsewhere on the forum too but I didn't want it lost on the main thread (I put it there but it will get lost) - I don't know if anyone has the skills to build these or look into them further but someone may want to - this is also the sort of thing a small furniture business could probably be reset to make during a national crises.

I am not sure where to post this, but a close family friend who is a doctor in the UK posted this in hopes people would get it to their MP's and in case people had the skills to build it - it is a hand and foot worked ventilator that is designed to be built easily and practically and run by human foot powder.

I know a similar machine kept a friend's sister alive during a C-Section she was having during one of the Great Quakes in Central America in the late 1970s.-Melodi


Name redacted:
I'm probably missing something obvious that Sabrina as my resident Gasperson will be able to correct me about.
The whole issue with COVID-19 is less the death rate (although 2% is only the population rate, and much higher in the frail, ill, or elderly, and much lower in the young and fit), but in the fact that a proportion will need ventilation, and this may overwhelm the available resources.

Which brings me on to the old aphorism that 'Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it'. Because we HAVE had situations where people have required ventilation for sometimes prolonged periods and in vast numbers before. And the way we got through them was with manufacture of simpler means of ventilation (because seriously, Iron Lungs?). I'm talking about Polio, which was a regular visitor to Europe right through into the 50s.

One solution was the Manley ventilator, which was relatively simple and entirely driven by mechanical bits and gas pressure, with no complex electronics. Now, maybe it's time for the government to consider options to as an emergency measure lift normal restrictions on the manufacture of medical apparatus (because I'd rather have ANY ventilator than none if those are my choices), to allow light industry to churn out this bad boy.

(caption for image: drawing of prototype of Manley ventilator, 1960 (modified from British Patent 900,866). Key: 1, bellows, connected to a source of gases under pressure, and in communication with a 2nd bellows 2 through tube 3 containing a two‐way tap 4; 5, valve (V1); 6, pivoted frame, biassed by means of tension spring 7; 8, pivoted frame, adjustably biassed by a movable jockey weight 9; 10, movable contact coupled to valve 5 (V1); 11, arcuate arm, having adjustable stop member 12; 13, contact, coupled to valve 5 (V1); 14, wide bore tube leading from bellows 2 to inhalation valve 15 (V2) attached to 16 spring biased diaphragm in small pressure chamber; 17, flexible tubing to patient; 18, exhalation valve (V3) attached to 19 spring biased diaphragm in small pressure chamber; 20, expiratory valve; 21, by‐pass tube from two‐way tap 4 to facilitate manual respiration; 22, breathing bag; 23, tube, pneumatically linking valves V1, V2 and V3; 24 valve (needle and seating) which closes when bellows 1 is empty, providing a constant back pressure on the rotameters. Modus operandi: Inspiration; pressure generator (from weighted bellows 2). Bellows 1 fills during this phase. Inspiratory–expiratory cycling; time cycled by the filling of bellows 1 until contact 10 trips a toggle and lever (bistable) system and valve 5 (V1) opens. Due to the pneumatic linking 23, this causes valve 15 (V2) to close and valve 18 (V3) to open. Expiration; passive pressure generation to atmosphere. Bellows 1 empties and bellows 2 fills during this phase. Expiratory‐inspiratory cycling; volume cycled by the setting of 12, so that when bellows 2 has filled to the set volume, contact 13 trips the toggle and lever (bistable) system in the other direction—valve 5 (V1) closes, valve 15 (V2) opens and valve 18 (V3) closes. )
Source: https://academic.oup.com/bja/article/85/6/928/250803
No photo description available.
 

FREEBIRD

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Came across these directions if they are heplful. Posting from phone so can't post whole article but if one of you would care to, that would be helpful.
 

ohiohippie

Senior Member
Great job, Melodi! Thanks!

I will say I can't imagine wearing one (treated with salt) on its own. Ever spent time around saltwater ? Even though it is MUCH less than a saturated solution, clothing worn while swimming quickly starts irritating skin. I can't imagine wearing one directly on my face.

I'm thinking of designing a "carrier" mask that I would slip a salt treated insert into. It would provide multiple layers, for more protection, and could be tossed in boiling water to sterilize/clean it. The insert could then be retreated and reused... obviously, this isn't an instant process, so you'll need multiples of the pocket masks and the inserts.

Summerthyme is
Have you designed one yet?
TY
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Sorry, no. I've been making elderberry syrup, delivering calves, bottling elderberry syrup, training a puppy... packing and shipping elderberry syrup (and the occasional bottle of Ouch! Liniment)..

It's been crazy. And we haven't been off the farm in weeks, except for one fast trip to the pharmacy drive through and a fast stopmst the liquor store.

So far, I haven't had a need for them... I've still got some N95s (left from the Ebola scare a few years ago). It turned out all the kid's had at least a couple 10 packs of N95s... woodworking hobbies, a machinist, etc. So I passed a few on, but have enough (with reuse, using the recommended method of baking at 300 degrees for 30 minutes) if I get pressed into service, either for family or the community. I still want to make some masks to fit little ones, though...

Summerthyme
 

ohiohippie

Senior Member
I have the ones on the ironing board to finish and get in the mail to family and friends.
Then tackle a rush for another 120 for a local assisted living that has nothing.
I have a lot of time and cotton. I’m upto 50 in 24 hours. The next ones I am going to serge the edges.
I need to make them faster.
Y’all stay safe!
 

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