New research presented online at the meeting of American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) 2020, has found that nearly 50% of N95 masks fail to work when reused for more than 2 days. Dr. Ronald Check of St. Luke’s University Hospital, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania who presented the study said “N95 respirators used past day 2 had significant failure rates.”
Lack of PPE led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to implement guidelines for extended use, “which meant donning for multiple patients without doffing,” Dr. Check explained. The CDC also extended N95 masks use and reuse protocols such that health workers could use and reuse the same mask several times for an extended period.
Dr. Megan Ranney of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island told Medscape Medical News that “the rates of mask failure after multiple days of use are staggering, we must, as a specialty and a nation, continue to push for our hospitals to be able to obtain and distribute a new N95 to every frontline provider every day!”
Where are we supposed to get these masks? Well, there is a foundation that is worth looking into, it is called “GetUsPPE” and it provides free PPE to frontline medical workers and under-resourced communities. Check it out; this is not an endorsement but rather a resource for providers, and it might help.
Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up and stay tuned!