HEALTHCARE RESPIRATORY PROTECTION RESOURCES
Updated May 8, 2020
Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, Respirator Reuse and Extended Use
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2018-128 (April 2018)
One of the most common types of respiratory protection is the filtering facepiece respirator (FFR), which is designed to be discarded when it becomes unsuitable for further use due to considerations of hygiene, excessive resistance, or physical damage. However, due to the considerations of cost, convenience, and supply, respiratory protection program managers have great interest in the practices of reuse and extended use of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved FFRs that are not damaged or soiled.
Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, Fit Testing
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2018-129 (April 2018)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910.134) requires an annual respirator fit test to confirm the fit of any respirator that forms a tight seal on the wearer’s face before it is used in the workplace. This ensures that users are receiving the expected level of protection by minimizing any contaminant leakage into the facepiece.
Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, User Seal Check
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2018-130 (April 2018)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910.134) requires an annual fit test to confirm the fit of any respirator that forms a tight seal on the wearer’s face before it is used in the workplace. Once a fit test has been done to determine the best respirator model and size for a particular user, a user seal check should be done every time the respirator is to be worn to ensure an adequate seal is achieved.
Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit
This toolkit was developed to assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (ATDs) to healthcare personnel.
Healthcare personnel are paid and unpaid persons who provide patient care in a healthcare setting or support the delivery of healthcare by providing clerical, dietary, housekeeping, engineering, security, or maintenance services. Healthcare personnel may potentially be exposed to ATD pathogens. Aerosols are particles or droplets suspended in air. ATDs are diseases transmitted when infectious agents, which are suspended or present in particles or droplets, contact the mucous membranes or are inhaled.
Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Fieldexternal icon
Protecting workers from exposure to all types of respiratory hazards is an important issue for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. In order to address this often overlooked danger, The Joint Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) have collaborated to develop a new educational monograph designed to assist hospitals in implementing their respiratory protection programs (RPPs).
Respirator Awareness: Your Health May Depend on it
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.
Preparedness through Daily Practice: The Myths of Respiratory Protection in Healthcare
Evidence from surveillance studies indicates gaps in hospitals’ respiratory protection programmatic operations and healthcare workers’ (HCWs) marginal compliance with respiratory protection recommended practices. Improper use of respiratory protective devices (RPDs) may expose HCWs to infectious respiratory illnesses. In this document, NIOSH addresses common myths related to respiratory protection and provides information to reinforce respiratory protection program administrator responsibilities and HCW knowledge concerning the proper use of these devices so that they can be prepared for the next public health emergency and best protect themselves in daily practice.
TB Respiratory Protection Program in Healthcare Facilities
This manual is designed to serve as a practical guide for those individuals responsible for initiating and running a TB respiratory protection program in health care facilities. The information in this manual remains current and viable in 2012.
California Toolkit: Respirator Use in Healthcare Workplacesexternal icon
Evaluations of respirator use in California hospitals conducted during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the 2010-11 influenza season showed that some hospitals could use help to improve the effectiveness of their respirator programs. The Toolkit was developed to provide useful tools and resources for California hospitals to reinforce and strengthen the respiratory protection programs. The guide covers key requirements of the Cal/OSHA Respiratory Protection and Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standards, guidance on developing and evaluating a respiratory protection program, and information on the selection and use of respirators. The tools and resources are now available through links within the electronic version of the guide itself. While directed toward California, the tools provide a useful resource for the nation as NIOSH NPPTL continues to work toward developing more generalized tools.
Proper N95 Respirator Use for Respiratory Protection Preparedness
When outbreaks of infectious disease occur, we rely on healthcare professionals to care for those affected, putting themselves at increased risk of exposure to the pathogen causing the disease.
Institute of Medicine (IOM) Reports
Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) and Respiratory Protection: Improving Education and Training – Letter Reportexternal icon
At the request of NPPTL, the IOM Committee on the Respiratory Protection Curriculum for Occupational Health Nursing Programs examined existing respiratory protection curricula in occupational health nursing programs and made recommendations to improve the education and training of OHNs. The IOM identified essential content that should be included in education and training programs for OHNs and the best approaches to teaching that content.