Training and Fit Testing of Health Care Personnel for Reusable Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirators Compared With Disposable N95 Respirators
Pompeii, Lisa A., et al.
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The demand for disposable respiratory protective devices needed to protect health care personnel may exceed supply during large outbreaks of respiratory infectious diseases. Concerns are growing over global shortages of respiratory protective devices during the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A reusable alternative to N95 respirators for which health care personnel can be rapidly assessed for fit (fit testing) and trained for use is needed. Elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs), which provide the same level of respiratory protection as N95 respirators, are one alternative. These reusable respirators are used in construction and manufacturing, but not widely used in health care4 because of uncertainty about disinfection methods and upfront costs.5 The goal of this demonstration study was to test the feasibility of rapidly training and fit testing health care workers to EHMRs.