Operation Ear Saver

A group of people trying to help in these difficult times

Need Ear Savers?

Here is our intake form in order to aggregate demand and get these out as quickly as possible. Anyone may request Ear Savers but we will prioritize Medical personnel, first responders, and essential services. We are trying to work with organizations where we can provide the largest impact possible, so if you are willing to serve as a point of contact for your facility we would love to hear from you. We want to work with the appropriate supply chain and administration folks to get these to the most people possible. These are being provided free and we are doing our best to make them as quickly as possible, so please be considerate of the needs of others. If you are not local to the SF Bay area we’d like to ask you serve as Point of Contact for groups in your area because shipping costs will add up quickly and we want to help as many as possible.

What is an Ear Saver

Many surgical masks are worn with elastic straps around ears. This is for easy wear and removal and is typically expected to be a short term thing with normal standards of care being a new mask for each patient that might be infectious. With the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a need to conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resulting in masks being worn during full 12+ hour shifts by nurses, first responders, and other essential personnel. An Ear Saver is an NIH recommended device that can decrease the discomfort of wearing a mask for prolonged periods by providing a simple 3D printed structure with hooks to hold these elastic straps. This design was developed by Surkay and submitted to the NIH by Davis Becker.

Can I make my own Ear Saver?

Certainly! You can find the file to print your own Ear Saver on Thingiverse. The default size is for people with larger heads or a large hairdoo (printed at 100%). Most people can use an Ear Saver printed at 85% size (as recommended on the NIH website). If you want to print these for essential personnel, we recommend coordinating with your local relief efforts to ensure there is a need before you print a bunch of them.

Want to Help?

The best way is to coordinate with local group that is already doing relief effort work. Operation Ear Saver is a small effort, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage what we are doing in your area to support your needs. If you are a maker there are a lot of ways you can potentially help the cause. Some great groups that are acting as focal points for maker projects include Maker Nexus in the San Francisco Bay area, Operation Shields Up out of the Sacramento area, and Huntsville Fighting Covid out of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mine was a lifesaver! It’s good for multiple masks as well. I was wearing a N95 with a surgical mask over that and a cloth mask cover over that. I’ll be sporting it again Wednesday when I work in the ICU and hopefully passing out some more.

San Antonio Hospital Nurse

“Everyone loves them bands, they are flexible, easy to use, are a perfect length! Everyone is asking where ppl got them! Thank you guys for all of your hard work and 3D printing the bands!

Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Nurses