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1.
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
2.
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
3.
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.

4.
J Hosp Infect ; 108: 113-119, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014625

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has caused problems with respirator supplies. Re-use may minimize the impact of the shortage, but requires the availability of an efficient and safe decontamination method. AIM: To determine whether low-temperature-steam-2%-formaldehyde (LTSF) sterilization is effective, preserves the properties of filtering facepiece (FFP) respirators and allows safe re-use. METHODS: Fourteen unused FFP2, FFP3 and N95 respirator models were subjected to two cycles of decontamination cycles. After the second cycle, each model was inspected visually and accumulated residual formaldehyde levels were analysed according to EN 14180. After one and two decontamination cycles, the fit factor (FF) of each model was tested, and penetration tests with sodium chloride aerosols were performed on five models. FINDINGS: Decontamination physically altered three of the 14 models. All of the residual formaldehyde values were below the permissible threshold. Irregular decreases and increases in FF were observed after each decontamination cycle. In the sodium chloride aerosol penetration test, three models obtained equivalent or superior results to those of the FFP classification with which they were marketed, both at baseline and after one and two cycles of decontamination, and two models had lower filtering capacity. CONCLUSION: One and two decontamination cycles using LTSF did not alter the structure of most (11/14) respirators tested, and did not degrade the fit or filtration capacity of any of the analysed respirators. The residual formaldehyde levels complied with EN 14180. This reprocessing method could be used in times of shortage of personal protective equipment.


Subject(s)
Decontamination/methods , Formaldehyde/pharmacology , Respiratory Protective Devices/virology , Sterilization/methods , Adult , Aerosols/adverse effects , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Equipment Reuse , Formaldehyde/analysis , Humans , Male , Masks/trends , Masks/virology , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Respiratory Protective Devices/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sodium Chloride/analysis , Steam/adverse effects , Ventilators, Mechanical/supply & distribution , Ventilators, Mechanical/virology
5.
J Int Soc Respir Prot ; 37(2): 71-86, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955110

ABSTRACT

During the current COVID-19 infectious disease pandemic, the demand for NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) has exceeded supplies and decontamination and reuse of FFRs has been implemented by various user groups. FFR decontamination and reuse is only intended to be implemented as a crisis capacity strategy. This paper provides a review of decontamination procedures in the published literature and calls attention to their benefits and limitations. In most cases, the data are limited to a few FFR models and a limited number of decontamination cycles. Institutions planning to implement a decontamination method must understand its limitations in terms of the degree of inactivation of the intended microorganisms and the treatment's effects on the fit and filtration of the device.

6.
medRxiv ; 2020 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-852087

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, is responsible for the 2020 global pandemic and characterized by high transmissibility and morbidity. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of contracting COVID-19, and this risk is mitigated through the use of personal protective equipment such as N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs). The high demand for FFRs is not currently met by global supply chains, potentially placing HCWs at increased exposure risk. Effective FFR decontamination modalities exist, which could maintain respiratory protection for HCWs in the midst of the current pandemic, through the decontamination and re-use of FFRs. Here, we present a locally-implemented ultraviolet-C germicidal irradiation (UVGI)-based FFR decontamination pathway, utilizing a home-built UVGI array assembled entirely with previously existing components available at our institution. We provide recommendations on the construction of similar systems, as well as guidance and strategies towards successful institutional implementation of FFR decontamination.

7.
Glob Health Sci Pract ; 8(3): 582-595, 2020 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809677

ABSTRACT

As the current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates, not all hospitals and other patient care facilities are equipped with enough personal protective equipment to meet the demand in a crisis. Health care workers around the world use filtering facepiece respirators to protect themselves and their patients, yet during this global pandemic they are forced to reuse what are intended to be single-use masks. This poses a significant risk to these health care workers along with the people they are trying to protect. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) has been validated previously as a method to effectively decontaminate these masks between use. However, not all facilities have access to the expensive commercial ultraviolet type C (UV-C) lamp decontamination equipment required for UVGI. UV-C bulbs are sitting idle in biosafety cabinets at universities and research facilities around the world that have been shuttered to slow the spread of COVID-19. These bulbs may also be available in existing medical centers where infectious diseases are commonly treated. We developed a method to modify existing light fixtures or create custom light fixtures that are compatible with new or existing UV-C bulbs. This system is scalable; can be created for less than US$50, on site and at the point of need; and leverages resources that are currently untapped and sitting unused in public and private research facilities during the pandemic. The freely accessible design can be easily modified for use around the world. Health care facilities can obtain this potentially lifesaving UVGI resource with minimal funds by collaborating with research facilities to obtain the UV-C meters and UV-C bulbs if they are unavailable from other sources. Although mask reuse is not ideal, we must do what we can in emergency situations to protect our health care workers responding to the pandemic and the communities they serve.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices , Ultraviolet Rays , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Hosp Infect ; 106(1): 163-175, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-716812

ABSTRACT

Inadequate supply of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) for healthcare workers during a pandemic such as the novel coronavirus outbreak (SARS-CoV-2) is a serious public health issue. The aim of this study was to synthesize existing data on the effectiveness of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) for N95 FFR decontamination. A systematic review (PROSPERO CRD42020176156) was conducted on UVGI in N95 FFRs using Embase, Medline, Global Health, Google Scholar, WHO feed, and MedRxiv. Two reviewers independently determined eligibility and extracted predefined variables. Original research reporting on function, decontamination, or mask fit following UVGI were included. Thirteen studies were identified, comprising 54 UVGI intervention arms and 58 N95 models. FFRs consistently maintained certification standards following UVGI. Aerosol penetration averaged 1.19% (0.70-2.48%) and 1.14% (0.57-2.63%) for control and UVGI arms, respectively. Airflow resistance for the control arms averaged 9.79 mm H2O (7.97-11.70 mm H2O) vs 9.85 mm H2O (8.33-11.44 mm H2O) for UVGI arms. UVGI protocols employing a cumulative dose >20,000 J/m2 resulted in a 2-log reduction in viral load. A >3-log reduction was observed in seven UVGI arms using >40,000 J/m2. Impact of UVGI on fit was evaluated in two studies (16,200; 32,400 J/m2) and no evidence of compromise was found. Our findings suggest that further work in this area (or translation to a clinical setting) should use a cumulative UV-C dose of 40,000 J/m2 or greater, and confirm appropriate mask fit following decontamination.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disinfection/standards , Equipment Reuse/standards , Guidelines as Topic , Masks/standards , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Ultraviolet Rays , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Efficiency , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety/standards
9.
BMJ Open ; 10(8): e039454, 2020 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697078

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: There are widespread shortages of personal protective equipment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reprocessing filtering facepiece particle (FFP)-type respirators may provide an alternative solution in keeping healthcare professionals safe. DESIGN: Prospective, bench-to-bedside. SETTING: A primary care-based study using FFP-2 respirators without exhalation valve (3M Aura 1862+ (20 samples), Maco Pharma ZZM002 (14 samples)), FFP-2 respirators with valve (3M Aura 9322+ (six samples) and San Huei 2920V (16 samples)) and valved FFP type 3 respirators (Safe Worker 1016 (10 samples)). INTERVENTIONS: All masks were reprocessed using a medical autoclave (17 min at 121°C with 34 min total cycle time) and subsequently tested up to three times whether these respirators retained their integrity (seal check and pressure drop) and ability to filter small particles (0.3-5.0 µm) in the laboratory using a particle penetration test. RESULTS: We tested 33 respirators and 66 samples for filter capacity. All FFP-2 respirators retained their shape, whereas half of the decontaminated FFP-3 respirators showed deformities and failed the seal check. The filtering capacity of the 3M Aura 1862 was best retained after one, two and three decontamination cycles (0.3 µm: 99.3%±0.3% (new) vs 97.0±1.3, 94.2±1.3% or 94.4±1.6; p<0.001). Of the other FFP-2 respirators, the San Huei 2920 V had 95.5%±0.7% at baseline vs 92.3%±1.7% vs 90.0±0.7 after one-time and two-time decontaminations, respectively (p<0.001). The tested FFP-3 respirator (Safe Worker 1016) had a filter capacity of 96.5%±0.7% at baseline and 60.3%±5.7% after one-time decontamination (p<0.001). Breathing and pressure resistance tests indicated no relevant pressure changes between respirators that were used once, twice or thrice. CONCLUSION: This small single-centre study shows that selected FFP-2 respirators may be reprocessed for use in primary care, as the tested masks retain their shape, ability to retain particles and breathing comfort after decontamination using a medical autoclave.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , Equipment Safety , Masks/standards , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , Air Filters , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Health Personnel , Humans , Particle Size , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Primary Health Care , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilators, Mechanical
10.
Photochem Photobiol ; 96(5): 1083-1087, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696014

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an international shortage of personal protective equipment including N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), resulting in many institutions using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) technology for N95 FFR decontamination. To ensure proper decontamination, it is crucial to determine the dose received by various parts of the FFR in this process. Recently, our group customized a UVGI unit for N95 decontamination. With experimental and theoretical approach, this manuscript discusses the minimum dose received by various parts of the N95 respirator after one complete decontamination cycle with this UVGI unit. The results demonstrate that all parts of the N95 FFR received at least 1 J cm-2 after one complete decontamination cycle with this unit. As there are a variety of UVGI devices and different types of FFRs, this study provides a model by which UVC dose received by different areas of the FFRs can be accurately assessed to ensure proper decontamination for the safety of healthcare providers.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Disinfection/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Radiometry/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultraviolet Rays
11.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(1): 25-30, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691091

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Surgical masks and N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) prevent the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and protect medical personnel. Increased demands for surgical masks and N95 FFRs during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in the shortage crisis. However, there is no standard protocol for safe reuse of the N95 FFRs. In this systematic review, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of existing decontamination methods of surgical masks and N95 FFRs and provide evidence-based recommendations for selecting an appropriate decontamination method. METHODS: We performed systematic searches of Ovid MEDLINE and Ovid EMBASE electronic databases. The last search was performed April 11, 2020. Any trials studying surgical masks and/or N95 FFRs decontamination were included. Outcomes were disinfections of virus and bacteria, restoration of the filtration efficiency, and maintenance of the physical structure of the mask. RESULTS: Overall, 15 studies and 14 decontamination methods were identified. A low level of evidence supported 4 decontamination methods: ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation (9 studies), moist heat (5 studies), microwave-generated steam (4 studies), and hydrogen peroxide vapor (4 studies). Therefore, we recommended these 4 methods, and we recommended against use were given for the other 10 methods. CONCLUSIONS: A low level of evidence supported the use of UV germicidal irradiation, moist heat, microwave-generated steam, and hydrogen peroxide vapor for decontamination and reuse of N95 FFRs. These decontamination methods were effective for viral and bacterial disinfection as well as restoration of the filtration efficiency, and the physical structure of the FFRs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disinfection/methods , Infection Control/instrumentation , Masks/virology , N95 Respirators/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Equipment Reuse , Humans , Infection Control/methods
12.
medRxiv ; 2020 Jul 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-666051

ABSTRACT

Personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 respirators are critical for persons exposed to SARS-CoV-2. KN95 respirators and N95 decontamination protocols have been described as solutions to a lack of such PPE. However, there are a few materials science studies that characterize the charge distribution and physical changes accompanying disinfection treatments particularly heating. Here, we report the filtration efficiency, dipole charge density, and fiber integrity of pristine N95 and KN95 respirators before and after various decontamination methods. We found that the filter layer of N95 is 8-fold thicker than that of KN95, which explains its 10% higher filtration efficiency (97.03 %) versus KN95 (87.76 %) under pristines condition. After 60 minutes of 70 °C treatment, the filtration efficiency and dipole charge density of N95 became 97.16% and 12.48 µC/m2, while those of KN95 were 83.64% and 1.48 µC/m2 ; moreover, fit factor of N95 was 55 and that of KN95 was 2.7. In conclusion, the KN95 respirator is an inferior alternative of N95 respirator. In both systems, a loss of electrostatic charge does not directly correlate to a decrease in performance.

13.
S Afr Med J ; 110(6): 466-468, 2020 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635596

ABSTRACT

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is key to protecting healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection, but the pandemic has disrupted supply chains globally and necessitated rapid review of the scientific evidence for PPE re-use. In South Africa, where the COVID-19 epidemic is still developing, healthcare facilities have a short window of opportunity to improve PPE supply chains, train staff on prudent PPE use, and devise plans to track and manage the inevitable increases in PPE demand. This article discusses the available PPE preservation strategies and addresses the issue of decontamination and re-use of N95 respirators as a last-resort strategy for critical shortages during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Decontamination/methods , Health Facilities , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , South Africa/epidemiology
14.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(9)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-505770

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic has created worldwide shortages of N95 respirators. We analyzed 4 decontamination methods for effectiveness in deactivating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus and effect on respirator function. Our results indicate that N95 respirators can be decontaminated and reused, but the integrity of respirator fit and seal must be maintained.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Ventilators, Mechanical/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Am J Infect Control ; 49(1): 8-14, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-619675

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Response to the COVID-19 pandemic by hospital systems has been strained by severe shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly N95 respirators. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed decontamination strategies to prolong the lifespan of single use respirators. Battelle and Duke University have validated hospital protocols to decontaminate respirators using vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) at 30%-35% concentrations. To prolong our supply of respirators, we evaluated and implemented VHP decontamination at 59% hydrogen peroxide concentration while detailing the effects of this process on the filtration efficiency and quantitative fit of single-use respirators. This study may help other health systems develop local solutions to their N95 mask shortage during this COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: N95 respirators (3M 8211 FF and 9210 FF) that were treated with 5 and 10 cycles of VHP by the V-PRO maX Low Temperature Sterilization System were evaluated quantitatively for filtration efficiency as well as with quantitative fit testing per Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. A decontamination protocol was concurrently implemented at our institution. This process involved depositing used masks, reprocessing, and re-distributing treated masks efficiently back to frontline providers. Furthermore, we implemented patient safety officers on COVID-19/person under investigation units to ensure optimized donning/doffing of respirators through frontline provider education. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant changes in mean filtration efficiency between the control and VHP-treated respirators. Furthermore, both treated and untreated respirators demonstrated fit factors above the minimum pass requirement. CONCLUSIONS: We have successfully demonstrated that N95 respirator decontamination with VHP at 59% hydrogen peroxide can be safely utilized to decontaminate single-use N95 respirators without significant effects on filtration efficiency or quantitative fit testing. With the COVID-19 pandemic and N95 respirator shortage, health systems without access to commercial decontamination processes should investigate the viability of such a process in their facilities.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents, Local , Decontamination/methods , Equipment Reuse , Hydrogen Peroxide , Materials Testing , N95 Respirators , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , N95 Respirators/supply & distribution , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2 , Sterilization , Volatilization
16.
J Hosp Infect ; 105(4): 663-669, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381791

ABSTRACT

Single-use filtering face respirators (FFRs) are critical pieces of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers treating patients with suspected upper respiratory tract pathogens. Experiences during pandemics in the 2000s, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-2-CoV-2, have highlighted concerns over the pressures that sustained respiratory virus pandemics may have on supplies of FFRs globally. Decontamination of FFRs has been posited as one solution to support the re-use of FFRs with a growing body of literature over the last 10+ years beginning to examine both the efficacy of disinfection of contaminated FFRs but also the impact of the decontamination process on the FFR's performance. Physical and chemical methods of decontamination have been tested for treatment of FFRs with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, sterilization by steam, ethylene oxide and vaporous hydrogen peroxide, demonstrating the most promising results thus far. Many of these methods utilize existing equipment that may already be available in hospitals and could be re-purposed for FFR decontamination. Importantly, some methods may also be replicated on household equipment, broadening the utility of FFR decontamination across a range of healthcare settings. Utilizing techniques to experimentally contaminate FFRs with a range of microorganisms, most decontamination methods appear to reduce the risk of the mask as a source of infection to the wearer and others to negligible levels. The performance of the filter, especially the efficiency of particle penetration following treatment, varied greatly depending on the processing method as well as the model of the filter itself, however. Urgent regulatory body-supported research is required to endorse the routine decontamination of FFRs. In emergency settings, these methods should nevertheless be carefully considered as one strategy to address potential shortfalls in supplies of FFRs for healthcare workers.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disinfection/methods , Disinfection/standards , Equipment Reuse/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Respiratory Protective Devices/standards , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Decontamination/methods , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultraviolet Rays
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