Unions say mask decontamination endangers healthcare workers

June 24, 2020

Two nurses unions contend that the use of decontaminated masks puts healthcare professionals at risk, according to an article on the Infection Control Today website.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and National Nurses United (NNU) asked an expert to review a report by the Mass General Brigham (MGB) Center for COVID Innovation that deals with the efficacy of decontaminated masks. That expert, Richard Peltier, PhD, expressed serious doubts, the article said.

“N95 respirators used by clinical workers are surprisingly complicated safety devices and are really meant to be disposable—under ordinary circumstances, you’d use it once and toss it in the trash,” Peltier said in the article. “But these are not ordinary times and hospitals are grasping at solutions to find ways to extend their limited supplies to keep workers safe.”

“There are many different decontamination methods being used by clinical centers across the U.S., and we just do not know whether these masks continue to protect wearers adequately. Of the limited data that is available, almost all of it comes from the decontaminating companies themselves, or the hospital groups that have signed on to use these services,” Peltier said.

Read the article.

 

 

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