N95 Masks

How Reprocessed N95 Masks Ushered An Extensive Risk of Infection?

It is almost the duration of 2-years with the arrival of pandemic and still inflicting hassles all across the globe. In the USA, the current positivity rate is close to 95%. Added penetration of medical emergencies further caused by Delta and Omicron variants. Still, in the midst of such crises, several parts of the USA face an acute shortage of N95 masks and rely more on reprocessing to cut the shortage out. Reuse the same face mask leads to a further rise in infection. And, it needs to stop by relying on the bulk supplies by the wholesale N95 mask manufacturers in the USA.

Healthcare workers and first responders are involved in the high-risk activity of reusing N95 masks while attending to infected patients. This sort of practice enhances the infection rate at the hospitals to an extensive rate. Workers wearing the same respirator, again and again, will come under the high-risk state of getting infected from critically ill patients at the medical centers. It would ultimately have a disastrous effect on the overall healthcare system.

Misconception Regarding CCDS (Critical Care Decontamination System)Usage

It all started with the FDA’s authorized decontamination technology of the Battelle CCDS system. It helps to decontaminate N95 respirators and other masks by using vapor phase hydrogen peroxide treatment. However, CCDS was recommended for emergency use only. Not for the usual practice of decontaminating all the respirators within the medical surroundings and reusing the mask several times. Especially, when the bulk quantity of N95 masks made in USA only is offered by reliable manufacturers.

On this, CDC has clearly given its guidelines, according to which, CCDS is meant for emergency use. It is made to wear the same mask for extended use only and that too within the close quarters of the surrounding with multiple patients. And, not to maintain contact with external individuals, while wearing the same N95 respirator.

CDC has even recommended scaling up the production of high-quality N95 masks or respirators to meet the adequate supply. It is an imperative matter to maintain the necessary supply across healthcare facilities. Especially, around the major hot spots, where the cases are rapidly increasing. Thus, the body has given direction to reliable and wholesale PPE suppliers to start scaling up the products. And, focus more on quality and quantity at the same time.

Moreover, it is important to note that decontamination has the other way around in the healthcare setup. It is best proposed to decontaminate the regular using medical devices like surgical equipment. The reprocessing is not meant for the face masks.

Understand the Risk of Reprocessed N95 Masks

The International Standard for Risk Management of Medical Devices has conducted a study on reusing N95 masks. Here, we have the following contributions of study helping to understand the risk factor.

  1. Using the reprocessed N95 masks or respirator increases the probability of both risk factors and harm at further stages. Risk in terms of getting affected by the virus. And, harm posing serious health damage to people, community, and environment.
  2. Healthcare professionals indulging in this usual practice of reusing a mask, are prone to get affected by the virus. It results in minor to major symptoms of flu, cold, or acute respiratory issues. Even in extreme cases, it leads to the death of a person.
  3. The only variable we have right now is to curb this harm and prevent the spread of the virus. Thereby, reducing the probability of infection and subsequent harm.
  4. Especially for healthcare workers, it is not possible for them to stay away from infected patients. It is a part of their daily routine, serving all sorts of patients with or no symptoms of a highly contagious virus. So, it is a matter of self-understanding, not to get into the position of using a reprocessed respirator. Because N95 with having a maximum of 95% air particles protected measure is available to protect and not to infect. And, reprocessing of this safety equipment leads to providing harm to both form and functionality of the device.

Concluding Thoughts

Reusing an N95 mask to feel protected against exposure to a highly contagious virus is a myth. Reprocessing the respirators or even decontaminating, disinfecting, or sterilizing before the reuse further mitigates the risk of infection. Furthermore, Battelle’s decontamination system authorized by the government body is a viable yet low-risk and emergency-prone option. And, cannot be relied upon completely when it comes to preventing the spread and saving lives.

The only solution lies in using fresh and new N95 respirators availed in bulk quantity. For this matter, Co-Defend appears to be of the reliable personal protective equipment companies offering a superior set of face protectors.

Know the Real Value of Personal Protective Equipment Amid Covid-19 & Stay Protected

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