Man wearing surgical mask

Contact Precautions – MRSA

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

The effectiveness and importance of contact precautions for endemic pathogens has long been debated, and their use has broad implications for infection control of other pathogens. Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are a serious public health concern, and the association between coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and personal protective equipment supply availability has strained infection control programs across the country. Given the role of …

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured

The CDC released an updated PPE Burn Rate Calculator with the following instructions for use: The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator (Version 2) excel icon[XLS – 2 MB] is a spreadsheet-based model that will help healthcare facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19. Non-healthcare facilities such as correctional facilities may also find this tool useful. To …

Double Mask?

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

The CDC conducted experiments to assess two ways of improving the fit of medical procedure masks: fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, and knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask, and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face. Each modification substantially improved source control and reduced wearer exposure. “Double masking” …

Cooling Vests

Angie Szumlinski Featured, Studies

Researchers from the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands have trialed cooling vests, originally designed for elite athletes, in nursing staff working long shifts in COVID19 wards wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE). The study found that among 386 healthcare workers involved in COVID-19 care, a high prevalence of: Thermal discomfort (77%), Excessive sweating (64%), Thirst/dehydration (81%), Headache (57%) …

FEMA – PPE Preservation Planning Tool

Angie Szumlinski Featured

FEMA has developed a PPE Preservation Planning Tool Guide, which is an instructional guide to be used with the PPE Preservation Planning Tool (PPEPP Tool). The PPEPP Tool is designed for user inputs leading to estimates of the benefits of preservation practices you may implement. The tool guide is designed to guide healthcare facilities, first responder services, and other impacted …

Opportunity to Purchase PPE at Bulk Pricing Rates

Angie Szumlinski Featured

To help members who are having trouble getting ahold of personal protective equipment, The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA) is working with Project N95 to purchase and offer such items at bulk pricing rates. There are no minimum order quantities, but the offer is only for a one-time bulk purchase and may not be repeated. The following …

Mask Research

Angie Szumlinski News, Studies

N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) and surgical masks are essential in reducing airborne disease transmission, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, currently available FFR’s and masks have major limitations, including masking facial features, waste, and integrity after decontamination. Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been working to design a better, reusable respirator that could …

APIC Survey 2020

Angie Szumlinski Featured, Studies

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) conducted an online survey of its 11,922 U.S.-based infection preventionist members on October 22-November 5, 2020. Results from the survey are based on responses from 1,083 infection preventionists located throughout the United States. Here are a few interesting findings regarding PPE and medical supplies: PPE Crisis Standards of Care For …

Reduce Skin Irritation – Face Masks?

Angie Szumlinski Featured, Health

Researchers from Imperial College London have investigated which products create the longest-lasting protective layer between PPE and skin. They custom-built a “tribometer” to assess friction and used it to test the friction between skin and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which is a common component of PPE. What they found was, the best lubricants were those that were not absorbed into the skin, …

Connecting Through the Mask

Angie Szumlinski Health

Living in the year of a pandemic has changed the way staff work with our residents. Although PPE such as face masks/shields, gowns, and gloves are essential in lessening the potential spread of COVID-19, it can leave residents and staff feeling “empty”. Many residents have voiced being lonely, sad, depressed, anxious, imprisoned, and disconnected from their loved ones. Staff have …