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Evaluation of Minnesota and Illinois hospital respiratory protection programs and healthcare worker respirator use.
Brosseau-LM; Conroy-LM; Sietsema-M; Cline-K; Durski-K
J Occup Environ Hyg 2015 Jan; 12(1):1-15
The objective of this study was to assess respiratory protection programs for aerosol-transmissible diseases in acute care hospitals for conformance with regulatory requirements and public health guidelines. Twenty-eight representative hospitals were selected by size, location and ownership in Minnesota and Illinois. Interviews were conducted with 363 healthcare workers and 171 managers from high-risk departments. Written programs from each hospital were reviewed for required elements. Seventy-seven healthcare workers were observed donning and donning a FFR. The most serious deficiency in many written programs was failure to identify a program administrator. Most written programs lacked adequate details about medical evaluation, fit testing and training and did not include a comprehensive risk assessment for aerosol transmissible diseases; tuberculosis was often the only pathogen addressed. Employees with the highest probability of tuberculosis exposure were most likely to pick a respirator for close contact, but higher levels of respiratory protection were rarely selected for aerosolgenerating procedures. Surgical masks were most commonly selected for close contact with droplet disease- or influenza-infected patients; better protection (e.g. respirator) was rarely selected for higher risk exposures. Most of the observed healthcare workers had access to a NIOSH-certified N95 FFR, properly positioned the facepiece and formed the nose clip. The most frequent deficiencies were failure to correctly place straps, perform a user seal check and remove the respirator using straps.
Respiration; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles; Diseases; Medical-facilities; Public-health; Humans; Men; Women; Health-care-personnel; Workers; Risk-factors; Training; Infectious-diseases; Viral-infections; Viral-diseases; Author Keywords: Respiratory protection; Healthcare; Aerosol transmissible disease
Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis MN 55455
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: July 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division