March 2016 Newsletter
Klarity Medical March Newsletter:
Working with Ovens
Dear friends and colleagues,
With so many clinics and hospitals switching to dry heat and turning their water baths off, we receive a lot of questions about how best to prepare thermoplastics in an oven. Can any mask go in an oven? How long can you leave them in for? For our March newsletter, I wanted to pass on some of the nuances of working with thermoplastics in dry heat.
The first thing to know is that all standard thermoplastic masks can be prepared in an oven. Some may be a bit tackier than others, but they all work just fine, behaving virtually the same as in a water bath. Our ovens are convection ovens, so the hot air swirls around the masks, just as the hot water does. Some masks may be a little more sticky without water, but that’s insignificant compared to the joy of not having water dripping about.
At what temperature you ask? Well…the same temperature as your water bath. Masks respond to the temperature and don’t care whether it’s from water or dry air. We recommend Klarity masks at 165°F for both water baths and ovens. Whatever temperature you prefer for your current water bath is probably what you’ll like in an oven.
How long to leave them in? The answer is easier than you might expect. In the oven, a mask will take about 2 or 3 minutes longer than you’re used to in a water bath. But when it’s ready you don’t have to take it right out. You can leave a mask in the oven for another 10 minutes with no worries. There is no rush and no harm done. Preparing a mask is not like cooking a roast beef. Masks will not dry out and be over done. They don’t taste good, but masks are quite stable in the heat. That said, longer than 15 minutes is too much. After 15 minutes in the heat, there can be some weakening at the edges where the thermoplastic bonds to the frame.
We also get questions about Klarity AccuCushions in ovens and water baths. AccuCushions can sit in an oven for a long time without any deterioration. As long as the temperature is no higher than about 170°F, they can sit in an oven for hours. Some clinics place their AccuCushions in a blanket warmer and leave them heated all day to retrieve when needed. AccuCushions are very stable, and can even be reheated and reformed if needed.
Here’s the bottom line - You don’t have to rush masks or AccuCushions in or out of the oven. But if you put a pizza in one of our ovens, be sure to keep an eye on it.
Klarity Medical Products
ESTRO April 29-May 3, Turin, Italy
PTCOG May 22-28, Prague, Czech Republic
ASTRO September 25-28, Boston, MA
PTCOG-NA October 23-26, Memphis, TN