by Dr. Anne McIntosh – Safe’N’Clear, Inc. Founder & CEO.
Our family started with the birth of their daughter. On a Friday evening, my amniotic sac broke; my husband and I checked into a large hospital in Charlotte expecting a normal delivery after a non-eventful 9-month pregnancy with regular prenatal visits. After more than 25 hours of labor, I was well-aware that my risk factors for infection were now increased. I informed the nurse on duty that my water broke more than 25 hours ago (the staff work on 8-hour shifts). The nurse notified the attending OB/GYN physician and the doctor determined a C-section was needed. I was taken to the OR and prepped for C-section. All personnel in the OR were garbed in surgical scrubs from head to toe, including facemasks — I could no longer read their lips and understand what they were saying to each other or to me. A white drape was placed between the OB/GYN and me so I could see nothing and could not piece together what was happening. On top of being tired, hungry, excited, and anxious, I had a hard time following verbal requests from health providers because I could not read their lips. Yes, my husband was there but he, too, was garbed in surgical scrubs and a face mask. In order to deal with what was going on and to keep my own sanity and blood pressure within reason, I made the executive decision to “shut down” and turned all decision-making and answering questions tasks to my husband in hopes that between him and the medical providers, they had the information they needed and everything would turn out all right. In a matter of minutes, I went from being a “doctor with a PhD who could communicate and articulate well” to a numbed, tired, fatigued patient who was counting on mercies and miracles all the way. Prayers were answered. All ended well… but I recognized how close this childbirth came to possibly not having a happy ending. Realizing that many people with hearing loss have experienced similar frightening situations or may face such a situation, I knew there was a better way and I had to find a solution. I spoke with my brother, an attorney, and described the situation (minus a few childbirth details) and told him how the problem could be resolved with a TRANSPARENT mask. And, here we are… an FDA approved ASTM-Level 1 surgical face mask with a clear window manufactured in the USA.
Safe’N’Clear, Inc. is pleased to announce RSS Medical Distributors (RSS) as an official distributor of the Communicator™ Clear Window Surgical Mask.
RSS specializes in niche healthcare product sales to military hospitals and VA facilities around the U.S. and abroad. RSS is acutely aware of the needs of active military service men and women and veterans, citing hearing loss as a huge component of their ability to understand their healthcare providers and treatment regimens. Many men and women in service are “hands-on” people who like to see the action; they tend to be visual learners, doers, and listeners so they will want to see their healthcare and dental care providers’ faces when interacting during appointments.
RSS is also aware of the need to minimize noise in the operating room. A report published by The Joint Commission on August 14, 2017 found that too much noise in the operating room can distract surgeons and increase the risk for medical errors. With so much noise in the O.R., surgeons and operating room staff often find themselves having to speak louder than normal in order to communicate with each other. Knowing that this is an active concern at the VA, RSS and the Department of Veteran Affairs are currently collaborating to create solutions to help reduce noise in the O.R. RSS plans to utilize the Safe’N’Clear Communicator™, with its clear communication window, to help providers reduce the need for elevated voice levels while communicating during a surgery case by having the ability to visually see what members of the surgical team are trying to communicate, therefore helping increase overall communication and decrease additional noise levels in the operating room.
RSS Medical Distributors is a certified minority-owned, small-disadvantaged business. For more information about RSS and other products they carry, contact Quedon Baul directly.
Safe’N’Clear and Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses (AMPHL) are proud to announce a partnership to help promote the Communicator Surgical Mask and AMPHL’s mission to promote advocacy and mentorship and create a network for individuals with hearing loss interested in or working in health care fields.
Beginning today, 5% of any and all purchases of The Communicator Surgical mask through the AMPHL website will be donated to AMPHL to help grow and expand our operations.
The Communicator form Safe’N’Clear is the world’s first and only FDA-approved see-through surgical mask. The see-through/transparent surgical mask is designed to improve communication for deaf/hard of hearing patients. While designed with deaf patients in mind, The Communicator has seen unintentional applications which transcend the Deaf population. This novel product can improve communication and reduce the potential for medical errors which may stem from miscommunication in operating rooms and other patient settings. It also has applications in pediatrics, as the mask provides a sense of comfort for children to see the facial expressions of their parents/guardians.
This is truly a product that improves communication and fosters connection for everyone, not just deaf/hard of hearing patients. AMPHL encourages anyone working in or affiliated with healthcare facilities (i.e. hospitals, clinics, dental offices, vet offices, etc.) to purchase a box or case of these novel see-through surgical masks.