COVID-19 Ramps Up Hazards in Healthcare

UV disinfection and masks can create issues for staff, occupants and visitors

February 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every aspect of healthcare, from information technology and field hospital construction to infection control.

A recent compilation of health technology hazards by ECRI Institute and reported by Health Leaders reflect the challenges many facility managers face on a daily basis. Consider these two examples:

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. If not used properly, UV disinfection devices might not deliver a sufficient dosage of UV rays to subdue microorganisms, leaving people at risk of exposure to these microorganisms. Surfaces to be disinfected should be in a direct line of sight, and should first be cleaned of soil, and users must take appropriate safety precautions to protect themselves and others from UV light exposure.

Masks. Imported N95 masks might fail to protect workers from infectious respiratory diseases

In particular, especially some N95 masks imported from China. Testing through December 2020 determined that more than 60 percent of the imported masks tested failed to filter airborne particles as well as claimed.

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Topic Area: Infection Control

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