Fit-failure rate associated with simulated reuse and extended use of N95 respirators assessed by a quantitative fit test
- Objective: We quantitatively assessed the fit failure rate of N95 respirators according to the number of donning/doffing and hours worn. Design: Experimental study. Setting: A tertiary-care referral center in South Korea. Participants: In total, 10 infection control practitioners participated in the fit test. Methods: The first experiment comprised 4 consecutive 1-hour donnings and fit tests between each donning. The second experiment comprised 2 consecutive 3-hour donnings and fit tests between each donning. The final experiment comprised fit tests after an 1-hour donning or a 2-hour donning. Results: For 1-hour donnings, 60%, 70%, and 90% of the participants had fit failures after 2, 3, and 4 consecutive donnings, respectively. For 3-hour donnings, 50% had fit failure after the first donning and 70% had failures after 2 consecutive donnings. All participants passed the fit test after refitting whenever fit failure occurred. The final experiment showed that 50% had fit failure after a single use of 1 hour, and 30% had fit failure after a single use of 2 hours. Conclusions: High fit-failure rates were recorded after repeated donning and extended use of N95 respirators. Caution is needed for reuse (>= 1 time) and extended use (>= 1 hour) of N95 respirators in high-risk settings such as those involving aerosol-generating procedures. Although adequate refitting may recover the fit factor, the use of clean gloves and strict hand hygiene afterward should be ensured when touching the outer surfaces of N95 respirators for refitting.
- 곽선희; 김성한; 김은옥; 김지윤; 양혜진; 임영주; 정지원; 홍민지
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- N95 respirator; fit test; reuse; extended use
- INFECTION CONTROL AND HOSPITAL EPIDEMIOLOGY
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