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Respirator awareness: your health may depend on it - personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-138, 2013 Jun; :1-8
One of the occupational hazards in the healthcare setting is the airborne transmission of certain infectious diseases. The potential of exposure is not limited to physicians, nurses, and support personnel in direct patient care. It extends to those delivering food, cleaning patient rooms, and performing maintenance. Anyone working in areas with patients infected with airborne-transmissible diseases is potentially at risk. Wearing appropriate respiratory protection when necessary is a vital line of defense. In healthcare, the N95 filtering facepiece respirator is the most commonly used. Employers and employees need to follow safety and health standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Joint Commission, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, and other organizations. It is important for you to be aware of the following considerations with respiratory protection products: 1. Follow the guidance of your organization's respiratory protection program, including medical clearance. 2. Be sure you are using a NIOSH-approved respirator. 3. Get fit-tested on an annual basis. 4. Know how to don and doff the specific brand and model of respirator you are using. 5. Know how to use the respirator safely and effectively.
Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Health-care-personnel; Nurses; Nursing; Physicians; Surgeons
Publication Date
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Numbered Publication
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Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-138; M082013
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division