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1.
Int J Paediatr Dent ; 33(4): 315-324, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241413

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The studies on cardiovascular alterations when using an N95 respirator or surgical mask-covered N95 during dental treatments are limited. AIM: To investigate and compare the cardiovascular responses of dentists treating paediatric patients while wearing an N95 respirator or a surgical mask-covered N95. DESIGN: This was a crossover clinical trial in 18 healthy dentists wearing an N95 respirator or surgical mask-covered N95 during the dental treatment of paediatric patients. Oxygen saturation (SpO2 ), heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were monitored at baseline, intraoperation, and postoperation. The data were analyzed using the generalized estimating equation. RESULTS: The mean SpO2 , HR, SBP, DBP, and MAP significantly changed from baseline up to the end of the procedures after wearing an N95 by 3.1%, 19.3%, 11.5%, 17.7%, and 13.8% and after wearing a surgical mask-covered N95 by 3.0%, 20.2%, 5.3%, 13.9%, and 8.8%, respectively (p < .05). No significant differences in these values were found between groups (p > .05). CONCLUSIONS: N95 respirators and surgical mask-covered N95s significantly impact the cardiovascular responses of dentists treating paediatric patients with no differences between the two types of masks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , Child , N95 Respirators , Masks/adverse effects , COVID-19/etiology , Dentists
2.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e066524, 2023 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239547

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to design and produce a low-cost, ergonomic, hood-integrated powered air-purifying respirator (Bubble-PAPR) for pandemic healthcare use, offering optimal and equitable protection to all staff. We hypothesised that participants would rate Bubble-PAPR more highly than current filtering face piece (FFP3) face mask respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in the domains of comfort, perceived safety and communication. DESIGN: Rapid design and evaluation cycles occurred based on the identified user needs. We conducted diary card and focus group exercises to identify relevant tasks requiring RPE. Lab-based safety standards established against British Standard BS-EN-12941 and EU2016/425 covering materials; inward particulate leakage; breathing resistance; clean air filtration and supply; carbon dioxide elimination; exhalation means and electrical safety. Questionnaire-based usability data from participating front-line healthcare staff before (usual RPE) and after using Bubble-PAPR. SETTING: Overseen by a trial safety committee, evaluation progressed sequentially through laboratory, simulated, low-risk, then high-risk clinical environments of a single tertiary National Health Service hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 15 staff completed diary cards and focus groups. 91 staff from a range of clinical and non-clinical roles completed the study, wearing Bubble-PAPR for a median of 45 min (IQR 30-80 (15-120)). Participants self-reported a range of heights (mean 1.7 m (SD 0.1, range 1.5-2.0)), weights (72.4 kg (16.0, 47-127)) and body mass indices (25.3 (4.7, 16.7-42.9)). OUTCOME MEASURES: Preuse particulometer 'fit testing' and evaluation against standards by an independent biomedical engineer.Primary:Perceived comfort (Likert scale).Secondary: Perceived safety, communication. RESULTS: Mean fit factor 16 961 (10 participants). Bubble-PAPR mean comfort score 5.64 (SD 1.55) vs usual FFP3 2.96 (1.44) (mean difference 2.68 (95% CI 2.23 to 3.14, p<0.001). Secondary outcomes, Bubble-PAPR mean (SD) versus FFP3 mean (SD), (mean difference (95% CI)) were: how safe do you feel? 6.2 (0.9) vs 5.4 (1.0), (0.73 (0.45 to 0.99)); speaking to other staff 7.5 (2.4) vs 5.1 (2.4), (2.38 (1.66 to 3.11)); heard by other staff 7.1 (2.3) vs 4.9 (2.3), (2.16 (1.45 to 2.88)); speaking to patients 7.8 (2.1) vs 4.8 (2.4), (2.99 (2.36 to 3.62)); heard by patients 7.4 (2.4) vs 4.7 (2.5), (2.7 (1.97 to 3.43)); all p<0.01. CONCLUSIONS: Bubble-PAPR achieved its primary purpose of keeping staff safe from airborne particulate material while improving comfort and the user experience when compared with usual FFP3 masks. The design and development of Bubble-PAPR were conducted using a careful evaluation strategy addressing key regulatory and safety steps. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04681365.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Protective Devices , State Medicine , Humans , Health Personnel , Perception , Hospitals
3.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 36(4): 276-280, 2023 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238861

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes the epidemiological evidence for respiratory personal protective equipment for SARA-CoV-2, a topic of considerable controversy. RECENT FINDINGS: The main findings are that the observational studies and non-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) randomized trials do not provide clear evidence that the N95 respirators offer superior protection over surgical masks. A randomized controlled trial on COVID-19 provides evidence that the absolute risk to healthcare workers over time using surgical masks is similar to N95 respirators. SUMMARY: The implications of the findings are that surgical masks and N95 respirators can be considered for respiratory protection in healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Personal Protective Equipment , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
4.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e065068, 2023 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233699

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Respiratory protective equipment is critical to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection, which includes filtering facepiece respirators (FFP3). There are reports of fitting issues within healthcare workers, although the factors affecting fitting outcomes are largely unknown. This study aimed to evaluate factors affecting respirator fitting outcomes. DESIGN: This is a retrospective evaluation study. We conducted a secondary analysis of a national database of fit testing outcomes in England between July and August 2020. SETTINGS: The study involves National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 9592 observations regarding fit test outcomes from 5604 healthcare workers were included in the analysis. INTERVENTION: Fit testing of FFP3 on a cohort of healthcare workers in England, working in the NHS. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome measure was the fit testing result, that is, pass or fail with a specific respirator. Key demographics, including age, gender, ethnicity and face measurements of 5604 healthcare workers, were used to compare fitting outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 9592 observations from 5604 healthcare workers were included in the analysis. A mixed-effects logistic regression model was used to determine the factors which affected fit testing outcome. Results showed that males experienced a significantly (p<0.05) higher fit test success than females (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.27 to 1.81). Those with non-white ethnicities demonstrated significantly lower odds of successful respirator fitting; black (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.51 to 0.83), Asian (OR 0.62; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.74) and mixed (OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.79. CONCLUSION: During the early phase of COVID-19, females and non-white ethnicities were less likely to have a successful respirator fitting. Further research is needed to design new respirators which provide equal opportunity for comfortable, effective fitting of these devices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Male , Female , Humans , Retrospective Studies , State Medicine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Equipment Design
6.
PeerJ ; 11: e14979, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299227

ABSTRACT

Objective: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the N95 mask is an essential piece of protective equipment for healthcare workers. However, the N95 mask may inhibit air exchange and odor penetration. Our study aimed to determine whether the use of N95 masks affects the odor discrimination ability of healthcare workers. Methods: In our study, all the participants were asked to complete three olfactory tests. Each test involved 12 different odors. The participants completed the test while wearing an N95 mask, a surgical mask, and no mask. The score for each olfactory test was documented. Results: The olfactory test score was significantly lower when the participants wore N95 masks than when they did not wear a mask (7 vs. 10, p < 0.01). The score was also lower when the participants wore N95 masks than surgical masks (7 vs. 8, p < 0.01). Conclusion: Wearing N95 masks decreases the odor discrimination ability of healthcare workers. Therefore, we suggest that healthcare workers seek other clues when diagnosing disease with a characteristic odor.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , N95 Respirators , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Controlled Before-After Studies , Odorants , Health Personnel
7.
Cent Eur J Public Health ; 31(1): 74-80, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298233

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: During the covid-19 pandemic, protective equipment such as respirators and masks were widely used to protect respiratory tract. This disposable protective equipment is usually made from plastic fibre-based nonwoven fabrics. If used masks and respirators are improperly discarded, they pollute the environment by becoming a source of micro and nanoplastics. The aim of the study was to find out how stable the materials of protective equipment are and how released nano and microplastics can affect aquatic and soil organisms. MATERIALS: The input materials used to produce respirators and masks were tested for their thermal stability and resistance to the release of plastic particles into the environment. To determine the thermal stability of the materials, a simultaneous thermal analysis - thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were performed. RESULTS: Materials of masks and respirators are stable at temperatures common to temperate climate zone. However, the possible effects of chemical reactions of the materials with the environment were not considered during the measurement. The materials were also subjected to ecotoxicity tests according to European standards. CONCLUSION: While the leachate obtained by shaking the materials in water did not show acute toxicity to the selected aquatic organisms, the material itself had a significant effect on selected soil organisms (springtails).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Plastics , Pandemics
8.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1125150, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2297932

ABSTRACT

Background: As face masks became mandatory in most countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, adverse effects require substantiated investigation. Methods: A systematic review of 2,168 studies on adverse medical mask effects yielded 54 publications for synthesis and 37 studies for meta-analysis (on n = 8,641, m = 2,482, f = 6,159, age = 34.8 ± 12.5). The median trial duration was only 18 min (IQR = 50) for our comprehensive evaluation of mask induced physio-metabolic and clinical outcomes. Results: We found significant effects in both medical surgical and N95 masks, with a greater impact of the second. These effects included decreased SpO2 (overall Standard Mean Difference, SMD = -0.24, 95% CI = -0.38 to -0.11, p < 0.001) and minute ventilation (SMD = -0.72, 95% CI = -0.99 to -0.46, p < 0.001), simultaneous increased in blood-CO2 (SMD = +0.64, 95% CI = 0.31-0.96, p < 0.001), heart rate (N95: SMD = +0.22, 95% CI = 0.03-0.41, p = 0.02), systolic blood pressure (surgical: SMD = +0.21, 95% CI = 0.03-0.39, p = 0.02), skin temperature (overall SMD = +0.80 95% CI = 0.23-1.38, p = 0.006) and humidity (SMD +2.24, 95% CI = 1.32-3.17, p < 0.001). Effects on exertion (overall SMD = +0.9, surgical = +0.63, N95 = +1.19), discomfort (SMD = +1.16), dyspnoea (SMD = +1.46), heat (SMD = +0.70), and humidity (SMD = +0.9) were significant in n = 373 with a robust relationship to mask wearing (p < 0.006 to p < 0.001). Pooled symptom prevalence (n = 8,128) was significant for: headache (62%, p < 0.001), acne (38%, p < 0.001), skin irritation (36%, p < 0.001), dyspnoea (33%, p < 0.001), heat (26%, p < 0.001), itching (26%, p < 0.001), voice disorder (23%, p < 0.03), and dizziness (5%, p = 0.01). Discussion: Masks interfered with O2-uptake and CO2-release and compromised respiratory compensation. Though evaluated wearing durations are shorter than daily/prolonged use, outcomes independently validate mask-induced exhaustion-syndrome (MIES) and down-stream physio-metabolic disfunctions. MIES can have long-term clinical consequences, especially for vulnerable groups. So far, several mask related symptoms may have been misinterpreted as long COVID-19 symptoms. In any case, the possible MIES contrasts with the WHO definition of health. Conclusion: Face mask side-effects must be assessed (risk-benefit) against the available evidence of their effectiveness against viral transmissions. In the absence of strong empirical evidence of effectiveness, mask wearing should not be mandated let alone enforced by law. Systematic review registration: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42021256694, identifier: PROSPERO 2021 CRD42021256694.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , Young Adult , Adult , Middle Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Carbon Dioxide , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , Dyspnea
9.
J Environ Public Health ; 2023: 5144345, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2273996

ABSTRACT

Inexpensive cloth masks are widely used to reduce particulate exposures, but their use became ubiquitous after the outbreak of COVID-19. A custom experimental setup (semiactive at 5.1 m/s airflow rate) was fabricated to examine the efficiency of different types of commercial facemasks collected randomly from street vendors. The sample (N = 27) including (n = 16) cloth masks (CMs), (n = 7) surgical masks (SMs), and (n = 4) N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), of which SMs and N95 FFRs taken as a standard for efficiency comparison were all tested against ambient aerosols (PM2.5 and PM10 µg/m3). The prototype cloth masks (PTCMs) (N = 5) design was tailored, and their performance was assessed and compared with that of standard commercial masks. The filtering efficiency tested against ambient coarse particulates (PM10) ranged from (5% to 34%) for CMs with an average of 16%, (37% to 46%) for SMs with an average of 42%, (59% to 72%) for PTCMs with an average of 65%, and (70% to 75%) for N95 FFRs with an average of 71%, whereas against fine particulates (PM2.5), efficacy ranged from (4% to 29%) for CMs with an average of 13%, (34% to 44%) for SMs with an average of 39%, (53% to 68%) for PTCMs with an average of 60%, and (68% to 73%) for N95 FFRs with an average of 70%, respectively. The efficiency followed the order N95 FFRs > PTCMs > SMs > CMs showing poor exposure reduction potential in CMs and high exposure reduction potential in N95 FFRs and PTCMs. Amendment in existing CMs using eco-friendly cotton fabric with better facial adherence can protect human health from exposure to fine particulates <2.5 µm and can reduce the risk of micro-plastic pollution caused by polypropylene (PP) facemasks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Nepal , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/analysis , Filtration , Materials Testing , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Particulate Matter , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
10.
Rev Lat Am Enfermagem ; 31: e3761, 2023 Mar 27.
Article in Spanish, English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260705

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to investigate the prevalence of skin lesions and factors associated with the use of N95 respirators among health professionals in Brazil. METHOD: cross-sectional study conducted with 11,368 health professionals using a respondent-driven sampling method adapted for online environments. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate the association between the "skin lesions with the use of N95 respirators" variable and gender, professional category, workplace, training, COVID-19 diagnosis, and availability of sufficient and high-quality Personal Protective Equipment. RESULTS: the prevalence of skin lesions was 61.8%. Women were 1.203 times (95% CI: 1.154-1.255) more likely to develop a lesion than men. The chances of skin lesions in psychologists (PR=0.805; 95% CI: 0.678-0.956) and dentists (PR=0.884; 95% CI: 0.788-0.992), were lower when compared to Nursing professionals. Professionals with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and working in the Intensive Care Unit have an increased chance of presenting skin lesions (PR=1.074; 95% CI: 1.042-1.107); (PR=1.203; 95% CI: 1.168-1.241), respectively. CONCLUSION: the prevalence of skin lesions caused by the use of N95 respirators was 61.8% and was associated with female gender, professional category, workplace, training, COVID-19 diagnosis, and availability of sufficient and highquality Personal Protective Equipment. (1) The overall prevalence of skin lesions was 61.8%. (2) The most affected professional category was Nursing. (3) Women were more likely to develop skin lesions than men.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Skin Diseases , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , N95 Respirators , Brazil , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19 Testing , Skin Diseases/epidemiology
11.
Biosensors (Basel) ; 13(2)2023 Jan 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268721

ABSTRACT

A mask serves as a simple external barrier that protects humans from infectious particles from poor air conditions in the surrounding environment. As an important personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect our respiratory system, masks are able not only to filter pathogens and dust particles but also to sense, reflect or even respond to environmental conditions. This smartness is of particular interest among academia and industries due to its potential in disease detection, health monitoring and caring aspects. In this review, we provide an overlook of the current air filtration strategies used in masks, from structural designs to integrated functional modules that empower the mask's ability to sense and transfer physiological or environmental information to become smart. Specifically, we discussed recent developments in masks designed to detect macroscopic physiological signals from the wearer and mask-based disease diagnoses, such as COVID-19. Further, we propose the concept of next-generation smart masks and the requirements from material selection and function design perspectives that enable masks to interact and play crucial roles in health-caring wearables.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Wearable Electronic Devices , Humans , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care
12.
J Clin Nurs ; 32(11-12): 2922-2932, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2265072

ABSTRACT

AIM: To investigate how personal protective equipment with an attached powered air-purifying respirator worn by intensive care unit nurses caring for COVID-19 patients in Korea impacts nursing-skill performance and psychosocial stress. DESIGN: A cross-sectional descriptive study was designed using purposive sampling. REVIEW METHODS: Online data collection was conducted from 3 March 2021-20 March 2021on 181 nurses who had worked for more than 1 month in COVID-19 critical care settings wearing personal protective equipment with a powered air-purifying respirator. A structured questionnaire was used to gather data on sociodemographic characteristics, attitude toward personal protective equipment, nursing-skill performance wearing personal protective equipment and psychosocial stress. DATA SOURCES: Data was sourced from structured questionnaire responses. RESULTS: Nursing skill performance decreased to 63.4%, compared with normal performance. Subjects' perceptions and attitudes related to PPE scored 3.56 out of 5; 44.7% of subjects reported severe psychosocial stress, which was significantly affected by attitude toward personal protective equipment usage, nursing performance, experience caring for COVID-19 patients and length of personal protective equipment usage per shift. CONCLUSION: Greater negative attitude toward usage of personal protective equipment with a powered air-purifying respirator, results in lower nursing-skill performance and higher the psychosocial stress of nurses responding to COVID-19 outbreaks. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PROFESSION AND/OR PATIENT CARE: High negative attitude toward PPE and low nursing-skill performance due to PPE with an attached PAPR results in significant and debilitating psychosocial stress in ICU nurses responding to COVID-19 outbreaks. To respond effectively to future infectious disease outbreaks and improve nursing performance, minimising the inconvenience and restrictions experienced by nurses wearing personal protective equipment is critical. REPORTING METHOD: We adhered to relevant EQUATOR guidelines to report. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: No patient or public contribution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Personal Protective Equipment , Intensive Care Units , Surveys and Questionnaires , Stress, Psychological , Health Personnel
13.
PLoS One ; 18(3): e0281050, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2263750

ABSTRACT

Effective masking policies to prevent the spread of airborne infections depend on public access to masks with high filtration efficacy. However, poor face-fit is almost universally present in pleated multilayer disposable face masks, severely limiting both individual and community respiratory protection. We developed a set of simple mask modifications to mass-manufactured disposable masks, the most common type of mask used by the public, that dramatically improves both their personalized fit and performance in a low-cost and scalable manner. These modifications comprise a user-moldable full mask periphery wire, integrated earloop tension adjusters, and an inner flange to trap respiratory droplets. We demonstrate that these simple design changes improve quantitative fit factor by 320%, triples the level of protection against aerosolized droplets, and approaches the model efficacy of N95 respirators in preventing the community spread of COVID-19, for an estimated additional cost of less than 5 cents per mask with automated production.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , N95 Respirators , Filtration
14.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(8): 993-996, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2274033

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Discomfort and device-related pressure injury (DRPI) caused by N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are common. The use of prophylactic hydrocolloid dressings is one of the strategies that may improve comfort and reduce DRPI. In this study, we investigated the impact of these dressings on N95 respirator fit. METHODS: We performed a repeat quantitative fit testing through the Respiratory Protection Program on 134 healthcare workers (HCWs), who applied hydrocolloid dressings on the bridge of their nose under the N95 FFRs that they passed the initial fit test with, but reported discomfort with the FFR. RESULTS: With the hydrocolloid dressings in place, the fit-test pass rate for the semirigid cup style (3M 1860) was 94% (108 of 115); for the the vertical flat-fold style (BYD), the pass rate was 85% (44 of 52); for the duckbill style (BSN medical ProShield and Halyard Fluidshield), the pass rate was 81% (87 of 108); and for the 3-panel flat-fold style (3M Aura) N95 FFRs, the pass rate was 100% (3 of 3). There was a statistically significant reduction in the overall fit factors for both the vertical flat-fold and duckbill type N95 respirators after the application of hydrocolloid dressings. CONCLUSIONS: Hydrocolloid dressings are likely to disturb the mask seal for nonrigid-style N95 FFRs, particularly the vertical flat-fold style and the duckbill style N95 FFRs. Given the risk of mask seal disturbance of N95 respirators as shown in this study, we advocate that any HCW requiring the use of prophylactic dressings should undergo repeat quantitative fit testing with the dressing in place prior to using the dressing and mask in combination.


Subject(s)
Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Bandages, Hydrocolloid , Equipment Design , Humans , N95 Respirators , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
15.
J Hosp Infect ; 123: 100-107, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251195

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the use of prophylactic dressings (silicone foam, silicone tape, hydrocolloid) under N95/P2 respirators to determine which dressings fit successfully. AIM: The aim was to develop a health service protocol for one state in Australia. METHODS: Data were collected during August and September 2021 as part of the Respiratory Protection Programme on 600 health workers using three types of prophylactic dressings. Five different types of respirators were used. Participant healthcare workers rated comfort on a four-point Likert scale. RESULTS: Successful fit was achieved by 63.6% of the respirator-dressing combinations. The best-performing respirator-dressing combination was the Trident® respirator with dressing Mepilex® Lite silicone foam (90.2% pass rate). High pass rates were found in the Trident® respirator with Mepilex® Border Lite with SofSicure silicone tape (79.1%); the 3M™ 1860 respirator with Mepilex® Border Lite with SofSicure silicone tape (74%); and the BSN orange duckbill respirator with Mepilex® Lite silicone foam (69.8%). The poorest-performing combination was the BYD™ respirator with Mepilex® Border Lite with SofSicure silicone tape (25.9% pass rate). Uncorrected chi-squared tests for association revealed significant associations between dressing type and outcome (P=0.004) and respirator type and outcome (P<0.001). Most respondents (82%) found the dressing combination markedly comfortable. CONCLUSIONS: When using prophylactic dressings under N95/P2 respirators, it is necessary to perform a fit test. In this study Trident® respirators had the highest probability of successful fit, while BYD™ respirators had the lowest. Combining Trident® respirators with Mepilex® Lite dressing was optimal. Most participants reported greater comfort with the dressings under the respirators.


Subject(s)
Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Bandages , Health Personnel , Health Services , Humans , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Silicones , Ventilators, Mechanical
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(3)2023 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2246153

ABSTRACT

Masks are essential and effective small protective devices used to protect the general public against infections such as COVID-19. However, available systematic reviews and summaries on the filtration performance of masks are lacking. Therefore, in order to investigate the filtration performance of masks, filtration mechanisms, mask characteristics, and the relationships between influencing factors and protective performance were first analyzed through mask evaluations. The summary of filtration mechanisms and mask characteristics provides readers with a clear and easy-to-understand theoretical cognition. Then, a detailed analysis of influencing factors and the relationships between the influencing factors and filtration performance is presented in. The influence of the aerosol size and type on filtration performance is nonlinear and nonconstant, and filtration efficiency decreases with an increase in the gas flow rate; moreover, fitness plays a decisive role in the protective effects of masks. It is recommended that the public should wear surgical masks to prevent COVID-19 infection in low-risk and non-densely populated areas. Future research should focus on fitness tests, and the formulation of standards should also be accelerated. This paper provides a systematic review that will be helpful for the design of masks and public health in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Filtration , Personal Protective Equipment
17.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 102(3): e32669, 2023 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2237114

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the Coronavirus disease 2019 epidemic, wearing a mask has become routine to prevent and control the virus's spread, especially for healthcare workers. However, the impact of long-term mask wear on the human body has not been adequately investigated. This study aimed to investigate whether Powered Air Purifying Respirators and N95 masks impact the olfaction in healthcare workers. METHODS: We recruited fifty-six healthcare workers and randomly divided them into 2 groups, wearing a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) (experiment group, N = 28) and an N95 mask (control group, N = 28). Olfactory discrimination and threshold tests were performed before and after wearing the masks. SPSS 26.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois) software was used for the statistical analyses. RESULTS: There was a statistical difference in the olfactory threshold test after wearing the mask in both PAPR Group (Z = -2.595, P = .009) and N95 Group (Z = -2.120, P = .034), with no significant difference between the 2 (χ2 = 0.29, P = .589). There was no statistical difference in the discrimination test scores in both 2 groups after wearing the masks. CONCLUSION: Wearing a mask affects the healthcare workers' olfaction, especially odor sensitivity. Healthcare workers have a higher olfactory threshold after long-term mask wear, whether wearing PAPRs or N95 masks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , N95 Respirators , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel
18.
PLoS One ; 18(1): e0281152, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224479

ABSTRACT

Individuals who are unable to be clean shaven for religious, medical or cultural reasons are unable to wear a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR), as the respirator cannot provide adequate protection against aerosol-transmissible diseases. There is currently a paucity of validated techniques to ensure the safe inclusion of bearded healthcare workers in the pandemic workforce. We propose to undertake a healthcare-based multi-modal evaluation study on the elastic band beard cover for FFR technique, examining the quantitative fit test (QNFT) results, usability and skill level of participants with repeated assessments over time. This is a prospective study conducted through the Respiratory Protection Program at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Healthcare workers are invited to participate if they require respiratory protection and cannot shave for religious, cultural or medical reasons. An online education package on the use of respiratory protective equipment and the elastic band beard cover for FFR technique is provided. This is followed by a face-to-face session, where the participant will receive: one-on-one training; undergo a skill assessment on their donning, doffing and user seal check techniques; complete QNFTs and a usability survey. Participants will be invited to repeat the assessment within 3 months of the first session and at 12 months. This study involves multimodal and repeated assessments of an elastic band beard cover for FFRs. The findings of this study will provide information on: whether this simple technique can provide safe, consistent and effective respiratory protection; whether it will interfere with occupational activities; and whether it is comfortable and tolerable for the duration of wear. This is of significant importance to the health workforce around the world, who cannot shave but require access to respiratory protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , Prospective Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Equipment Design , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ventilators, Mechanical , Delivery of Health Care
19.
J Hosp Infect ; 134: 89-96, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2220983

ABSTRACT

Regulations for measures to protect against SARS-CoV-2 transmission vary widely around the world, with very strict regulations in Germany where respirators (filtering face piece FFP2 or comparable) are often mandatory. The efficiency of respirators, however, depends essentially on the tight facial fit avoiding the bypass of contaminated air via gaps between mask and wearer's face. The facial fit can be verified in a fit test. The aim of this review was to describe the quantitative fit test results depending on the respirator designs. A literature search revealed 29 suitable studies. Of all respirators with circumferential head straps, three-panel folded dome-shaped respirators showed the best fit (80.8% of 4625 fit tests passed), followed by rigid-dome-shaped respirators (72.4% of 8234 fit tests passed), duckbill-shaped respirators (31.6% of 2120 fit tests passed), and coffee-filter-shaped respirators (30.9% of 3392 fit tests passed). Respirators with ear loops showed very poor tight fit (3.6% of 222 fit tests passed). In four randomized control trials, single-use respirators were not shown to be superior to surgical masks for the prevention of laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections, even when adjusted with a fit test. Therefore, we consider the mandatory use of respirators to be disproportionate and not supported by evidence. Further evidence should be generated, in which scenarios respirators might provide an effective benefit as part of occupational health and safety. For situations with confirmed benefits, only high-quality disposable respirators with head straps or respiratory protective equipment of higher protective levels should be used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Equipment Design , Masks , Ventilators, Mechanical , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
20.
PLoS One ; 18(1): e0280426, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2214800

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: While facing personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, several institutions looked to PPE decontamination and reuse options. This study documents the effect of two hydrogen peroxide treatments on filtration efficiency and fit tests as well as the side effects for volunteers after the decontamination of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs). We also propose an efficient and large-scale treatment protocol that allows for the traceability of this protective equipment in hospitals during PPE shortages. METHODS: The effects of low-temperature hydrogen peroxide sterilization and hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) on two FFR models (filtration, decontamination level, residual emanation) were evaluated. Ten volunteers reported comfort issues and side effects after wearing 1h FFRs worn and decontaminated up to five times. RESULTS: The decontamination process does not negatively affect FFR efficiency, but repeated use and handling tend to lead to damage, limiting the number of times FFRs can be reused. Moreover, the recommended 24-h post-treatment aeration does not sufficiently eliminate residual hydrogen peroxide. Prolonged aeration time increased user comfort when using decontaminated FFRs. CONCLUSIONS: HPV and low-temperature hydrogen peroxide sterilization seem to be appropriate treatments for FFR decontamination when the PPE is reused by the same user. PPE decontamination and reuse methods should be carefully considered as they are critical for the comfort and safety of healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Papillomavirus Infections , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , Hydrogen Peroxide , Decontamination/methods , Pandemics , Equipment Reuse , Personal Protective Equipment
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