Evaluation of respiratory protection programs and practices in California hospitals during the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic.
Beckman-S; Materna-B; Goldmacher-S; Zipprich-J; D'Alessandro-M; Novak-D; Harrison-R
Am J Infect Control 2013 Aug; 41(11):1024-1031
Background: Emergence of the novel 2009 influenza A H1N1 virus in California led to an evaluation of hospital respiratory protection programs (RPPs) and practices by the California Department of Public Health during the 2009-2010 influenza season. Methods: Onsite evaluation of 16 hospitals consisted of interviews with managers and health care workers about RPPs and practices, review of written RPPs, and limited observations of personnel using respirators. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: All hospitals had implemented policies requiring the minimum use of N95 filtering facepiece respirators when working with patients with H1N1 virus infection; 95.5% of health care workers (n = 199) reported they would wear at least this level of protection when in close contact with a patient with confirmed or suspected H1N1 virus infection. However, evaluation of written RPPs indicated deficiencies in required areas, most commonly in recordkeeping, designation of a program administrator, program evaluation, employee training, and fit testing procedures. Conclusions: Health care workers were aware of respiratory protection required when providing care for patients with confirmed or suspected H1N1 virus infection. Hospitals should improve written RPPs, fully implement written procedures, and conduct periodic program evaluation to ensure effectiveness of respirator use for health care worker protection. Increased accessibility of resources tailored for hospital respirator program administrators may be helpful.
Personal-protective-equipment; Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Infectious-diseases; Infection-control; Disease-transmission; Work-environment; Work-operations; Work-practices; Worker-health; Health-care; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Health-programs; Health-protection; Medical-care; Medical-facilities; Medical-personnel; Emergency-response; Hospital-equipment; Public-health; Safety-monitoring; Administration;
Author Keywords: N95 respirator; Aerosol transmissible disease; Hospital; Health care; Preparedness
Barbara Materna, PhD, CIH, California Department of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Pkwy, P-3, Richmond, CA 94804
Healthcare and Social Assistance
American Journal of Infection Control