Total Contact Spearheads a Collaborative Effort

By: Jennifer Whitestone


When the Oregon Burn Center requested burn masks for two patients using surface scanning technology, Total Contact sprang into action. A company in Los Angeles, Gentle Giant Studios, was contacted and agreed to scan the patients. Total Contact then called AirLifeLine, a national nonprofit charitable organization, and they agreed to fly the patients with a companion to L.A. for the day. Friday, March 2, Jennifer Whitestone of Total Contact flew to L.A. and met the Oregon Burn Center patients at Gentle Giant Studios where the patients underwent a 15 second scan. The scan images were sent over the internet to be manufactured in Ohio. Custom facial molds were produced and 2 clear plastic masks were vacuum-formed for each patient, one Vivak and one Silon STS with silicone. Occupational therapists Jolene Heitmann and Helen Christians received the molds and masks at the Oregon Burn Center in Portland, Oregon on Monday morning, March 5. The therapists finalized trim lines on the masks and applied the straps. Both patients left the burn center that same morning wearing their burn masks. Although the therapists are experienced with making masks using the moulage technique, Christians described the difference between plaster-made and Total Contact masks as the "difference between a kindergartner's drawing and a Rembrandt masterpiece." Due to the collaborative efforts of the Oregon Burn Center, Gentle Giant Studios, Total Contact, and AirLifeLine, two patients from the Oregon Burn Center are now receiving the benefits of pressure therapy through the most advanced customized transparent facial orthoses available today.

Agustin (Gus) Navarrete of Gentle Giant Studios scans James Nystrom of Portland, Oregon using the Cyberware PS 3030HRC scanning system.

Jolene Heitmann (left) and Helen Christians (right), working with James Nystrom, trim the mask and add straps to secure it to the head. James will wear the mask for 12-18 months for up to 23 hours a day to treat hypertrophic scarring.