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1.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(1): 75-83, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096434

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Shortages of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have led to the extended use or reuse of single-use respirators and surgical masks by frontline healthcare workers. The evidence base underpinning such practices warrants examination. OBJECTIVES: To synthesize current guidance and systematic review evidence on extended use, reuse, or reprocessing of single-use surgical masks or filtering face-piece respirators. DATA SOURCES: We used the World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Public Health England websites to identify guidance. We used Medline, PubMed, Epistemonikos, Cochrane Database, and preprint servers for systematic reviews. METHODS: Two reviewers conducted screening and data extraction. The quality of included systematic reviews was appraised using AMSTAR-2. Findings were narratively synthesized. RESULTS: In total, 6 guidance documents were identified. Levels of detail and consistency across documents varied. They included 4 high-quality systematic reviews: 3 focused on reprocessing (decontamination) of N95 respirators and 1 focused on reprocessing of surgical masks. Vaporized hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation were highlighted as the most promising reprocessing methods, but evidence on the relative efficacy and safety of different methods was limited. We found no well-established methods for reprocessing respirators at scale. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence on the impact of extended use and reuse of surgical masks and respirators is limited, and gaps and inconsistencies exist in current guidance. Where extended use or reuse is being practiced, healthcare organizations should ensure that policies and systems are in place to ensure these practices are carried out safely and in line with available guidance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Equipment Reuse/standards , Infection Control/instrumentation , Masks/virology , N95 Respirators/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Risk Management/methods , Risk Management/standards
2.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-16, 2021 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700344

ABSTRACT

Objective: Bottlenecks in the personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain have contributed to shortages of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in fractures in the functionality of healthcare systems. This study was conducted with the aim of determining the effectiveness of retrofitted commercial snorkel masks as an alternative respirator for healthcare workers during infectious disease outbreaks.Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed, analyzing qualitative and quantitative fit test results of the retrofitted Aria Ocean Reef® full-face snorkeling mask on healthcare workers at the McGill University Health Centre between April-June 2020. Historical fit test results, using medical-grade respirators, for healthcare workers were also analyzed.Results: During the study period, 71 participants volunteered for fit testing, 60.6% of which were nurses. The overall fit test passing rate using the snorkel mask was 83.1%. Of the participants who did not previously pass fit testing with medical-grade respirators, 80% achieved a passing fit test with the snorkel respirator.Conclusions: The results suggest that this novel respirator may be an effective and feasible alternative solution to address PPE shortages, while still providing healthcare workers with ample protection. Additional robust testing will be required to ensure that respirator fit is maintained, after numerous rounds of disinfection.

3.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(11): 1318-1326, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575888

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Due to shortages of N95 respirators during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is necessary to estimate the number of N95s required for healthcare workers (HCWs) to inform manufacturing targets and resource allocation. METHODS: We developed a model to determine the number of N95 respirators needed for HCWs both in a single acute-care hospital and the United States. RESULTS: For an acute-care hospital with 400 all-cause monthly admissions, the number of N95 respirators needed to manage COVID-19 patients admitted during a month ranges from 113 (95% interpercentile range [IPR], 50-229) if 0.5% of admissions are COVID-19 patients to 22,101 (95% IPR, 5,904-25,881) if 100% of admissions are COVID-19 patients (assuming single use per respirator, and 10 encounters between HCWs and each COVID-19 patient per day). The number of N95s needed decreases to a range of 22 (95% IPR, 10-43) to 4,445 (95% IPR, 1,975-8,684) if each N95 is used for 5 patient encounters. Varying monthly all-cause admissions to 2,000 requires 6,645-13,404 respirators with a 60% COVID-19 admission prevalence, 10 HCW-patient encounters, and reusing N95s 5-10 times. Nationally, the number of N95 respirators needed over the course of the pandemic ranges from 86 million (95% IPR, 37.1-200.6 million) to 1.6 billion (95% IPR, 0.7-3.6 billion) as 5%-90% of the population is exposed (single-use). This number ranges from 17.4 million (95% IPR, 7.3-41 million) to 312.3 million (95% IPR, 131.5-737.3 million) using each respirator for 5 encounters. CONCLUSIONS: We quantified the number of N95 respirators needed for a given acute-care hospital and nationally during the COVID-19 pandemic under varying conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Masks , N95 Respirators , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
4.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(7): 254-257, 2021 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389863

ABSTRACT

Universal masking is one of the prevention strategies recommended by CDC to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1). As of February 1, 2021, 38 states and the District of Columbia had universal masking mandates. Mask wearing has also been mandated by executive order for federal property* as well as on domestic and international transportation conveyances.† Masks substantially reduce exhaled respiratory droplets and aerosols from infected wearers and reduce exposure of uninfected wearers to these particles. Cloth masks§ and medical procedure masks¶ fit more loosely than do respirators (e.g., N95 facepieces). The effectiveness of cloth and medical procedure masks can be improved by ensuring that they are well fitted to the contours of the face to prevent leakage of air around the masks' edges. During January 2021, CDC conducted experimental simulations using pliable elastomeric source and receiver headforms to assess the extent to which two modifications to medical procedure masks, 1) wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (double masking) and 2) knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask where they attach to the mask's edges and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face (knotted and tucked masks), could improve the fit of these masks and reduce the receiver's exposure to an aerosol of simulated respiratory droplet particles of the size considered most important for transmitting SARS-CoV-2. The receiver's exposure was maximally reduced (>95%) when the source and receiver were fitted with modified medical procedure masks. These laboratory-based experiments highlight the importance of good fit to optimize mask performance. Until vaccine-induced population immunity is achieved, universal masking is a highly effective means to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2** when combined with other protective measures, such as physical distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and good hand hygiene. Innovative efforts to improve the fit of cloth and medical procedure masks to enhance their performance merit attention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Masks/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
5.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0250854, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388910

ABSTRACT

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been considered the most effective way to avoid the contamination of healthcare workers by different microorganisms, including SARS-CoV-2. A spray disinfection technology (chamber) was developed, and its efficacy in instant decontamination of previously contaminated surfaces was evaluated in two exposure times. Seven test microorganisms were prepared and inoculated on the surface of seven types of PPE (respirator mask, face shield, shoe, glove, cap, safety glasses and lab coat). The tests were performed on previously contaminated PPE using a manikin with a motion device for exposure to the chamber with biocidal agent (sodium hypochlorite) for 10 and 30s. In 96.93% of the experimental conditions analyzed, the percentage reduction was >99% (the number of viable cells found on the surface ranged from 4.3x106 to <10 CFU/mL). The samples of E. faecalis collected from the glove showed the lowest percentages reduction, with 86.000 and 86.500% for exposure times of 10 and 30 s, respectively. The log10 reduction values varied between 0.85 log10 (E. faecalis at 30 s in glove surface) and 9.69 log10 (E. coli at 10 and 30 s in lab coat surface). In general, E. coli, S. aureus, C. freundii, P. mirabilis, C. albicans and C. parapsilosis showed susceptibility to the biocidal agent under the tested conditions, with >99% reduction after 10 and 30s, while E. faecalis and P. aeruginosa showed a lower susceptibility. The 30s exposure time was more effective for the inactivation of the tested microorganisms. The results show that the spray disinfection technology has the potential for instant decontamination of PPE, which can contribute to an additional barrier for infection control of healthcare workers in the hospital environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Decontamination , Infection Control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Protective Clothing , Respiratory Protective Devices , SARS-CoV-2 , Bacteria , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , Bacterial Infections/prevention & control , Bacterial Infections/transmission , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Decontamination/instrumentation , Decontamination/methods , Humans
6.
BMJ Glob Health ; 5(10)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388494

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During pandemics, such as the SARS-CoV-2, filtering facepiece respirators plays an essential role in protecting healthcare personnel. The recycling of respirators is possible in case of critical shortage, but it raises the question of the effectiveness of decontamination as well as the performance of the reused respirators. METHOD: Disposable respirators were subjected to ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) treatment at single or successive doses of 60 mJ/cm2 after a short drying cycle (30 min, 70°C). The germicidal efficacy of this treatment was tested by spiking respirators with two staphylococcal bacteriophages (vB_HSa_2002 and P66 phages). The respirator performance was investigated by the following parameters: particle penetration (NaCl aerosol, 10-300 nm), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry and mechanical tensile tests. RESULTS: No viable phage particles were recovered from any of the respirators after decontamination (log reduction in virus titre >3), and no reduction in chemical or physical properties (SEM, particle penetrations <5%-6%) were observed. Increasing the UVGI dose 10-fold led to chemical alterations of the respirator filtration media (FTIR) but did not affect the physical properties (particle penetration), which was unaltered even at 3000 mJ/cm2 (50 cycles). When respirators had been used by healthcare workers and undergone decontamination, they had particle penetration significantly greater than never donned respirators. CONCLUSION: This decontamination procedure is an attractive method for respirators in case of shortages during a SARS pandemic. A successful implementation requires a careful design and particle penetration performance control tests over the successive reuse cycles.


Subject(s)
Decontamination/methods , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Equipment Reuse , Respiratory Protective Devices , Ultraviolet Rays , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Equipment Failure Analysis , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Materials Testing , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Occup Environ Med ; 78(9): 679-690, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1362002

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To synthesise evidence concerning the range of filtering respirators suitable for patient care and guide the selection and use of different respirator types. DESIGN: Comparative analysis of international standards for respirators and rapid review of their performance and impact in healthcare. DATA SOURCES: Websites of international standards organisations, Medline and Embase, hand-searching of references and citations. STUDY SELECTION: Studies of healthcare workers (including students) using disposable or reusable respirators with a range of designs. We examined respirator performance, clinician adherence and performance, comfort and impact, and perceptions of use. RESULTS: We included standards from eight authorities across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australasia and 39 research studies. There were four main findings. First, international standards for respirators apply across workplace settings and are broadly comparable across jurisdictions. Second, effective and safe respirator use depends on proper fitting and fit testing. Third, all respirator types carry a burden to the user of discomfort and interference with communication which may limit their safe use over long periods; studies suggest that they have little impact on specific clinical skills in the short term but there is limited evidence on the impact of prolonged wearing. Finally, some clinical activities, particularly chest compressions, reduce the performance of filtering facepiece respirators. CONCLUSION: A wide range of respirator types and models is available for use in patient care during respiratory pandemics. Careful consideration of performance and impact of respirators is needed to maximise protection of healthcare workers and minimise disruption to care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disposable Equipment/statistics & numerical data , Equipment Reuse/statistics & numerical data , Ventilators, Mechanical/statistics & numerical data , Disposable Equipment/standards , Equipment Reuse/standards , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Ventilators, Mechanical/standards
8.
Infect Dis Now ; 51(5): 410-417, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349451

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mainly infects the respiratory tract, and presents significantly higher active replication in the upper airways. To remain viable and infectious, the SARS-CoV-2 virion must be complete and integral, which is not easily demonstrated in the environment by positive reverse transcriptase PCR results. Real-life conditions in healthcare settings may be conducive to SARS-CoV-2 RNA dissemination in the environment but without evidence of its viability and infectiveness in air. Theoretically, SARS-CoV-2 shedding and dissemination nonetheless appears to be air-mediated, and a distinction between "air" and "droplet" transmission is too schematic to reflect the reality of the respiratory particles emitted by patients, between which a continuum exists. Airborne transmission is influenced by numerous environmental conditions that are not transposable between different viral agents and situations in healthcare settings or in the community. Even though international guidelines on "droplet" versus "air" precautions and personal protective equipment (surgical versus respirator masks) are under discussion, the existing literature underscores the effectiveness of "droplet" precautions as a means of protecting healthcare workers. Differentiation in guidelines between healthcare venues, community settings and, more generally, confined environments is of paramount importance, especially insofar as it underlines the abiding pandemic-related need for systematic mask wearing by the general population.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , COVID-19/transmission , Health Personnel , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Occupational Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans
9.
Anesthesiology ; 135(2): 292-303, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307560

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tracheal intubation for patients with COVID-19 is required for invasive mechanical ventilation. The authors sought to describe practice for emergency intubation, estimate success rates and complications, and determine variation in practice and outcomes between high-income and low- and middle-income countries. The authors hypothesized that successful emergency airway management in patients with COVID-19 is associated with geographical and procedural factors. METHODS: The authors performed a prospective observational cohort study between March 23, 2020, and October 24, 2020, which included 4,476 episodes of emergency tracheal intubation performed by 1,722 clinicians from 607 institutions across 32 countries in patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 requiring mechanical ventilation. The authors investigated associations between intubation and operator characteristics, and the primary outcome of first-attempt success. RESULTS: Successful first-attempt tracheal intubation was achieved in 4,017/4,476 (89.7%) episodes, while 23 of 4,476 (0.5%) episodes required four or more attempts. Ten emergency surgical airways were reported-an approximate incidence of 1 in 450 (10 of 4,476). Failed intubation (defined as emergency surgical airway, four or more attempts, or a supraglottic airway as the final device) occurred in approximately 1 of 120 episodes (36 of 4,476). Successful first attempt was more likely during rapid sequence induction versus non-rapid sequence induction (adjusted odds ratio, 1.89 [95% CI, 1.49 to 2.39]; P < 0.001), when operators used powered air-purifying respirators versus nonpowered respirators (adjusted odds ratio, 1.60 [95% CI, 1.16 to 2.20]; P = 0.006), and when performed by operators with more COVID-19 intubations recorded (adjusted odds ratio, 1.03 for each additional previous intubation [95% CI, 1.01 to 1.06]; P = 0.015). Intubations performed in low- or middle-income countries were less likely to be successful at first attempt than in high-income countries (adjusted odds ratio, 0.57 [95% CI, 0.41 to 0.79]; P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The authors report rates of failed tracheal intubation and emergency surgical airway in patients with COVID-19 requiring emergency airway management, and identified factors associated with increased success. Risks of tracheal intubation failure and success should be considered when managing COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Airway Management , Cohort Studies , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
West J Emerg Med ; 22(3): 547-551, 2021 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266883

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus 2019 pandemic caused a shortage of disposable N95 respirators, prompting healthcare entities to extend the use of these masks beyond their intended single-use manufacturer recommendation with a paucity of supporting research. METHODS: We performed a prospective cohort study of ED healthcare workers (HCW) ("subjects") required to use respirators at an academic, Level I trauma center. Subjects had been previously fit tested and assigned an appropriately sized N95 mask per hospital protocol. Per study protocol, subjects were fit tested periodically throughout their shifts and on multiple shifts over the eight-week study period. Data points collected included the age of the mask, subjective assessment of mask seal quality, and fit test results. We analyzed the data using Fisher's exact test, and calculated odds ratios (OR) to determine the failure rate of disposable N95 masks following reuse. RESULTS: A total of 130 HCWs underwent fit testing and 127 were included for analysis. Mask failure rate climbed after day 2 of use, with 33.3% of masks failing at day 3, 42.9% at day 4, and 50% at ≥ day 5. Categorizing the masks into those being used for two or fewer days vs those in use for three or more, failure was more common on day 3 of use or older compared to those in the first two days of use (41.8% vs 8.3%, P < 0.0001) with an OR of failure with an older mask of 7.9 (confidence interval [CI], 2.8-22.3). The healthcare workers' assessment of poor seal was 33.3% sensitive (CI, 18.6-51.9) and 95.7% specific (CI, 88.8-98.6) for fit test failure. CONCLUSION: Disposable N95 masks have significant failure rates following reuse in clinical practice. Healthcare personnel also performed poorly in assessing the integrity of the seal of their disposable respirators.


Subject(s)
Equipment Failure/statistics & numerical data , Equipment Reuse , N95 Respirators , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disposable Equipment , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies
12.
Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol ; 31(5): 989-993, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263148

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Personal protective equipment (PPE) may protect health-care workers from COVID-19 infection and limit nosocomial spread to vulnerable hip fracture patients. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional survey amongst orthopaedic trainees to explore PPE practice in 19 hospitals caring for hip fracture patients in the North West of England. RESULTS: During the second wave of the pandemic, 14/19 (74%) hospitals experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst staff or patients on the orthopaedic wards. An FFP3 respirator mask was used by doctors in only 6/19 (32%) hospitals when seeing patients with COVID-19 and a cough and in 5/19 (26%) hospitals when seeing asymptomatic patients with COVID-19. A COVID-19 outbreak was reported in 11/13 (85%) orthopaedic units where staff wore fluid resistant surgical masks compared to 3/6 (50%) units using an FFP3 respirator mask (RR 1.69, 95% CI 0.74-3.89) when caring for symptomatic patients with COVID-19. Similarly, a COVID-19 outbreak was reported in more orthopaedic units caring for asymptomatic patients with COVID-19 where staff wore fluid resistant surgical masks (12/14 (86%)) as compared to an FFP3 respirator mask (2/5 (40%)) (RR 2.14, 95% CI 0.72-6.4). CONCLUSION: Urgent re-evaluation of PPE use is required to reduce nosocomial spread of COVID-19, amongst highly vulnerable patients with hip fracture.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Hip Fractures/complications , Orthopedics , Cross-Sectional Studies , England , Humans , Masks , Personal Protective Equipment , Ventilators, Mechanical
13.
BMC Biomed Eng ; 3(1): 10, 2021 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261282

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to supply shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs or "masks"), which are typically single-use devices in healthcare settings, are routinely being used for prolonged periods and in some cases decontaminated under "reuse" and "extended use" policies. However, the reusability of N95 masks is limited by degradation of fit. Possible substitutes, such as KN95 masks meeting Chinese standards, frequently fail fit testing even when new. The purpose of this study was to develop an inexpensive frame for damaged and poorly fitting masks using readily available materials and 3D printing. RESULTS: An iterative design process yielded a mask frame consisting of two 3D printed side pieces, malleable wire links that users press against their face, and cut lengths of elastic material that go around the head to hold the frame and mask in place. Volunteers (n = 45; average BMI = 25.4), underwent qualitative fit testing with and without mask frames wearing one or more of four different brands of FFRs conforming to US N95 or Chinese KN95 standards. Masks passed qualitative fit testing in the absence of a frame at rates varying from 48 to 94 % (depending on mask model). For individuals who underwent testing using respirators with broken or defective straps, 80-100 % (average 85 %) passed fit testing with mask frames. Among individuals who failed fit testing with a KN95, ~ 50 % passed testing by using a frame. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that mask frames can prolong the lifespan of N95 and KN95 masks by serving as a substitute for broken or defective bands without adversely affecting fit. Use of frames made it possible for ~ 73 % of the test population to achieve a good fit based on qualitative and quantitative testing criteria, approaching the 85-90 % success rate observed for intact N95 masks. Frames therefore represent a simple and inexpensive way of expanding access to PPE and extending their useful life. For clinicians and institutions interested in mask frames, designs and specifications are provided without restriction for use or modification. To ensure adequate performance in clinical settings, fit testing with user-specific masks and PanFab frames is required.

14.
Anaesth Intensive Care ; 49(2): 112-118, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255771

ABSTRACT

N95 particulate respirator masks are currently recommended for all healthcare workers who care for patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) when performing aerosol-generating procedures. The protection provided by N95 particulate respirator masks is dependent on the filter's efficiency and seal quality. In this prospective randomised crossover study, we conducted the user seal check and the quantitative fit test on two readily available duckbill models of N95 masks, the Halyard Fluidshield® N95 (Halyard, Alpharetta, GA, USA) and the BSN Medical ProShield® N-95 (BSN Medical, Mount Waverley, Victoria) particulate respirator masks. We recruited a total of 96 anaesthetic staff, of whom 26% were of South-East Asian ethnicity. We found that both types of masks provided reasonably high fit test pass rates among our participants and there was no significant difference between the two brands (77% for the Fluidshield and 65% for the ProShield, P = 0.916). Ninety-two percent of the participants could find at least one well-fitted mask among these two types of masks. We also demonstrated that the user seal check had low accuracy and low concordance (kappa coefficient of 0.16 for the Fluidshield and 0.08 for the ProShield) when compared to the quantitative fit test, and hence was not a reliable method to test seal quality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Cross-Over Studies , Humans , Masks , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilators, Mechanical
15.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 83, 2021 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247602

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many healthcare facilities are lacking a steady supply of masks worldwide. This emergency situation warrants the taking of extraordinary measures to minimize the negative health impact from an insufficient supply of masks. The decontamination, and reuse of healthcare workers' N95/FFP2 masks is a promising solution which needs to overcome several pitfalls to become a reality. AIM: The overall aim of this article is to provide the reader with a quick overview of the various methods for decontamination and the potential issues to be taken into account when deciding to reuse masks. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), hydrogen peroxide, steam, ozone, ethylene oxide, dry heat and moist heat have all been methods studied in the context of the pandemic. The article first focuses on the logistical implementation of a decontamination system in its entirety, and then aims to summarize and analyze the different available methods for decontamination. METHODS: In order to have a clear understanding of the research that has already been done, we conducted a systematic literature review for the questions: what are the tested methods for decontaminating N95/FFP2 masks, and what impact do those methods have on the microbiological contamination and physical integrity of the masks? We used the results of a systematic review on the methods of microbiological decontamination of masks to make sure we covered all of the recommended methods for mask reuse. To this systematic review we added articles and studies relevant to the subject, but that were outside the limits of the systematic review. These include a number of studies that performed important fit and function tests on the masks but took their microbiological outcomes from the existing literature and were thus excluded from the systematic review, but useful for this paper. We also used additional unpublished studies and internal communication from the University of Geneva Hospitals and partner institutions. RESULTS: This paper analyzes the acceptable methods for respirator decontamination and reuse, and scores them according to a number of variables that we have defined as being crucial (including cost, risk, complexity, time, etc.) to help healthcare facilities decide which method of decontamination is right for them. CONCLUSION: We provide a resource for healthcare institutions looking at making informed decisions about respirator decontamination. This informed decision making will help to improve infection prevention and control measures, and protect healthcare workers during this crucial time. The overall take home message is that institutions should not reuse respirators unless they have to. In the case of an emergency situation, there are some safe ways to decontaminate them.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , N95 Respirators/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Ethylene Oxide/pharmacology , Health Personnel , Humans , Hydrogen Peroxide/pharmacology , N95 Respirators/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Steam , Ultraviolet Rays
16.
BMC Anesthesiol ; 21(1): 155, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238704

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The surge of critically ill patients due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) overwhelmed critical care capacity in areas of northern Italy. Anesthesia machines have been used as alternatives to traditional ICU mechanical ventilators. However, the outcomes for patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure cared for with Anesthesia Machines is currently unknow. We hypothesized that COVID-19 patients receiving care with Anesthesia Machines would have worse outcomes compared to standard practice. METHODS: We designed a retrospective study of patients admitted with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis at a large tertiary urban hospital in northern Italy. Two care units were included: a 27-bed standard ICU and a 15-bed temporary unit emergently opened in an operating room setting. Intubated patients assigned to Anesthesia Machines (AM group) were compared to a control cohort treated with standard mechanical ventilators (ICU-VENT group). Outcomes were assessed at 60-day follow-up. A multivariable Cox regression analysis of risk factors between survivors and non-survivors was conducted to determine the adjusted risk of death for patients assigned to AM group. RESULTS: Complete daily data from 89 mechanically ventilated patients consecutively admitted to the two units were analyzed. Seventeen patients were included in the AM group, whereas 72 were in the ICU-VENT group. Disease severity and intensity of treatment were comparable between the two groups. The 60-day mortality was significantly higher in the AM group compared to the ICU-vent group (12/17 vs. 27/72, 70.6% vs. 37.5%, respectively, p = 0.016). Allocation to AM group was associated with a significantly increased risk of death after adjusting for covariates (HR 4.05, 95% CI: 1.75-9.33, p = 0.001). Several incidents and complications were reported with Anesthesia Machine care, raising safety concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypothesis that care associated with the use of Anesthesia Machines is inadequate to provide long-term critical care to patients with COVID-19. Added safety risks must be considered if no other option is available to treat severely ill patients during the ongoing pandemic. CLINICAL TRIAL NUMBER: Not applicable.


Subject(s)
Anesthesiology/instrumentation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Critical Illness/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/instrumentation , Aged , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Retrospective Studies
17.
Arch Prev Riesgos Labor ; 24(2): 67-83, 2021 04 15.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236960

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Frontline healthcare workers have a high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. The use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to prevent this occupational disease. Surgical masks and filtering face piece (FFP) respirators are important parts of this PPE. European standard EN 149 establishes three protection levels for FFP respirators (FFP1, FFP2, FFP3), depending on the particle infiltration degree through their materials, and these, in turn, are based on their filtration effectiveness. The aim of this laboratory test is to determine and quantify the filtration and fit rate of different FFP respirators, singly and in combination with surgical masks, by performing a series of fit tests and consequently, to check whether this combination improves protection levels for healthcare workers who care for COVID-19 patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Several FFP respirators and surgical masks, singly and in combination, were fit tested with a PortaCount Pro + 8038, which fulfills OSHA standards, in a series of tests performed on healthcare workers in seven different breathing situations when taking care on COVID-19 patients, in order to determine and quantify their fit to the workers' face. RESULTS: Wearing a surgical mask together with a highly efficient FFP respirator provided increased respiratory protection. Interestingly, one of these highly efficient FFP models, combined with a surgical mask, achieved a protection factor over 200 (whereas 100 is the minimum required protection factor). CONCLUSIONS: Surgical masks, when used together with a FFP2 respirator, could significant ly improve the degree of fit of all self-filtering face piece by providing greater filtration efficiency and greater user protection from exposure to aerosols.


INTODUCCIÓN: Un componente importante del equipo de protección individual (EPI) frente al SARS-CoV-2 son las mascarillas quirúrgicas y las mascarillas autofiltrantes (FFP). La norma europea EN 149 establece y clasifica las mascarillas autofiltrantes en tres niveles de protección dependiendo del porcentaje de fuga del total de partículas en suspensión del aire exterior hacia el aire interior FFP1, FFP2, FFP3. El objetivo de este e ensayo de laboratorio es determinar y cuantificar el nivel de ajuste de las mascarillas autofiltrantes FFP2 combinadas con las mascarillas quirúrgicas mediante series de pruebas de ajuste (fit test). MATERIAL Y MÉTODOS: Se utilizó el equipo medidor de ajuste de mascarillas FFP modelo PortaCount® Pro + 8038 compatible con las normas y metodología de la OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) de los EEUU. Se realizaron series de pruebas de ajuste sobre diferentes modelos de mascarillas autofiltrantes FFP2 con y sin mascarilla quirúrgica para diferentes situaciones de respiración del trabajador participante en este experimento.  RESULTADOS: El uso de la mascarilla quirúrgica sobre una mascarilla autofiltrante FFP2 aporta una mejora en la protección respiratoria determinante, incrementando el factor de ajuste hasta de +200 (el factor de ajuste mínimo debe ser 100). CONCLUSIONES: Las mascarillas quirúrgicas cuando se usan conjuntamente con las mascarillas autofiltrantes, podrían mejorar significativamente el grado de ajuste de todas las mascarillas autofiltrantes proporcionando una mayor eficacia de filtración y una mayor protección al usuario frente a la exposición a aerosoles.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Humans , Masks , Personal Protective Equipment
18.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(12): 1446-1448, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196795

ABSTRACT

Decontamination of N95 respirators is being used by clinicians in the face of a global shortage of these devices. Some treatments for decontamination, such as some vaporized hydrogen peroxide methods or ultraviolet methods, had no impact on respiratory performance, while other treatments resulted in substantial damage to masks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Protective Devices , Decontamination , Equipment Reuse , Humans , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilators, Mechanical
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(4): e216857, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192058

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth new challenges for health care workers, such as the daily use of personal protective equipment, including reusable facial respirators. Poor communication while wearing respirators may have fatal complications for patients, and no solution has been proposed to date. Objective: To examine whether use of an in-ear communication device is associated with improved communication while wearing different personal protective equipment (N95 mask, half-face elastomeric respirator, and powered air-purifying respirator [PAPR]) in the operating room. Design, Setting, and Participants: This quality improvement study was conducted in June 2020. Surgical residents from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, were recruited. All participants had normal hearing, were fluent in English, and had access to the operating rooms at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Exposures: All participants performed the speech intelligibility tasks with and without an in-ear communication device. Main Outcomes and Measures: Speech intelligibility was measured using a word recognition task (Modified Rhyme Test) and a sentence recognition task (AzBio Sentence Test). A percentage correct score (0% to 100%) was obtained for each speech intelligibility test. Listening effort was assessed using the NASA Task Load Index. An overall workload score, ranging from 0 points (low workload) to 100 points (high workload), was obtained. Results: A total of 12 participants were included (mean [SD] age, 31.2 [1.9] years; 8 women [66.7%]). AzBio Sentence Test results revealed that, while wearing the N95 mask, the mean (SD) speech intelligibility was 98.8% (1.8%) without the in-ear device vs 94.3% (7.4%) with the device. While wearing the half-face elastomeric respirator, the mean speech intelligibility was 58.5% (12.4%) without the in-ear device vs 90.8% (8.9%) with the device. While wearing the PAPR, the mean speech intelligibility was 84.6% (9.8%) without the in-ear device vs 94.5% (5.5%) with the device. Use of the in-ear device was associated with a significant improvement in speech intelligibility while wearing the half-face elastomeric respirator (32.3%; 95% CI, 23.8%-40.7%; P < .001) and the PAPR (9.9%; 95% CI, 1.4%-18.3%; P = .01). Furthermore, use of the device was associated with decreased listening effort. The NASA Task Load Index results reveal that, while wearing the N95 mask, the mean (SD) overall workload score was 12.6 (10.6) points without the in-ear device vs 17.6 (9.2) points with the device. While wearing the half-face elastomeric respirator, the mean overall workload score was 67.7 (21.6) points without the in-ear device vs 29.3 (14.4) points with the in-ear device. While wearing the PAPR, the mean overall workload score was 42.2 (18.2) points without the in-ear device vs 23.8 (12.8) points with the in-ear device. Use of the in-ear device was associated with a significant decrease in overall workload score while wearing the half-face elastomeric respirator (38.4; 95% CI, 23.5-53.3; P < .001) and the PAPR (18.4; 95% CI, 0.4-36.4; P = .04). Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that among participants using facial respirators that impaired communication, a novel in-ear device was associated with improved communication and decreased listening effort. Such a device may be a feasible solution for protecting health care workers in the operating room while allowing them to communicate safely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Hearing Aids/standards , Hearing , N95 Respirators/adverse effects , N95 Respirators/standards , Operating Rooms , Respiratory Protective Devices/adverse effects , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Male , Operating Rooms/organization & administration , Operating Rooms/standards , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , Simulation Training , Speech Discrimination Tests/methods
20.
Curr Treat Options Infect Dis ; 13(2): 35-46, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1173372

ABSTRACT

Purpose of review: Prior outbreaks of respiratory viruses have demonstrated the need for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, particularly filtering facepiece respirators (FFR). Due to shortfalls of PPE during the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, the need for FFR decontamination and reuse (FFR-DR) strategies is paramount. This paper aims to discuss primary decontamination strategies, with an in-depth analysis of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), arriving at the decontamination strategy utilized at the Nebraska Medical Center (NMC). Methods: Review of the primary literature in regard to FFR-DR as well as a synopsis of the current protocol for FFR-DR at NMC. Recent findings: UVGI demonstrates effective decontamination of multiple pathogens-including several human respiratory viruses-while maintaining mask integrity and filtering capacity. UVGI was associated with degradation of strap integrity at higher doses than that utilized for decontamination or with reuse beyond 20 times. Summary: UVGI effectively decontaminates N95 FFRs without significant reduction to fit or strap integrity and can be employed as a strategy for FFR-DR in times of emergency.

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