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Penny Wise PPE Protection aims to make mask storage safer and to lower the risk of cross-contamination. Penny Wise provides medical professionals, frontline workers, and families with a copper-infused polyester bag to store N-95 respirators and/or other medical equipment. The copper lining bag acts as a disinfectant and kills bacteria and viruses effectively.

Penny Wise CEO, Ethan Lutz, noticed a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic and developed an innovative solution to mitigate the spread.  We sat down with Ethan to further discuss the advantages of copper-infused packaging for healthcare workers and upcoming innovative solutions.

Tell us about Penny Wise PPE.

The name Penny Wise PPE Protection comes from the copper lining in our bags and the fact that pennies are made of copper. In addition, investing in proper protection is good for providers and the bottom line, thus it is a decision that is penny-wise rather than a pound foolish. I was working in NYC with FEMA as an EMT during the peak of the outbreak and throughout my deployment, I devised an invention to better store and preserve PPE, specifically N-95 respirators. 

>> Read: EMT works at the epicenter of COVID-19 <<

What problem is Penny Wise PPE solving?

The bag solves a significant problem regarding PPE during the age of the coronavirus, contamination via paper bags. The paper bags issued to hold PPE are often used multiple times, and when an N-95 in the field is placed in the bag the contamination from the exterior of the mask is transferred to the interior of the paper bag. When the mask is then removed for subsequent use and returned this contamination has the potential to spread to the interior of the mask, opening up the user to infection directly into the lungs via inhalation. The Penny Wise PPE Protection bag solves this problem, as the interior of the bag is made of a copper lining, which has been shown to kill bacteria and viruses effectively. This lining protects the bag from cross-contamination and mitigates infection that may occur as a result. 

How is Penny Wise PPE addressing the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic? 

The average AMR EMT is paid $13 an hour, meaning that in the case of infection with the coronavirus they would be out for a minimum of 2 weeks. These 2 weeks of sick pay comes out to $1040. The Penny Wise bags cost $24.99 per unit, meaning that if 100 were obtained they would prevent even 3 infections they would pay for themselves. Also, these bags have both belt loops and a shoulder strap, allowing for easy access and the operator to have PPE on them in a sterile environment at all times.

Lastly, many large healthcare facilities have the means to implement mask sterilization. Smaller organizations such as skilled nursing facilities and EMS lack such resources. Penny Wise PPE Protection provides a cost-effective solution for such providers to store their protection in a safe way. 

It was great speaking with Ethan. Be sure to learn more about Penny Wise’s new innovations by visiting their complete GovShop profile.