Date: 
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Description: 

PAHO/WHO, 2 Jun 2020. Webinar with more tha 87 participants  presents issues related to the extended use, reuse, and reprocessing of N95 and equivalent respirators by health services during shortages of this personal protective equipment (PPE), to health facility managers, health authorities, and others involved in decision-making on the use and prioritization of PPE.

Objective(s) of the meeting: 

To present issues related to the extended use, reuse, and reprocessing of N95 and equivalent respirators by health services during shortages of this personal protective equipment (PPE), to health facility managers, health authorities, and others involved in decision-making on the use and prioritization of PPE.

Brief synthesis of the topics: 

Topics discussed:

  • N95 and equivalent standards
  • Strategies to optimize the availability of respirators
  • Measures to manage respirator shoratages
  1. Extended use
  2. Limited reuse
  3. Reprocessing
  • Fundamental aspects to consider in reprocessing
  • Main reprocessing methods
  • Presentation of an experience on the implementation of reprocessing of N95 respirators in a health center

Conclusiones and reccomendations:

  • During shortages of N95 and equivalent respirators, stopgap measures for optimizing their use may be considered, among them extended use and reuse 
  • Since risks are associated with these measures, special criteria and precautions should be used when adopting them, confining their use to situations where they are indispensable
  • Extended use is recommended over reuse
  • During critical respirator shortages, reprocessing can be considered
  • Although saturated steam, UVC radiation, and gas plasma or vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization are the respirator reprocessing methods with the most evidence of efficacy to date, no method can be adopted without prior local validation testing in the health facility
  • A written protocol for the procedure should be also prepared and health workers trained in the proper use of the reprocessed respirators
  • Respirator reprocessing should be regulated by the regulatory authority with jurisdiction over these medical devices
Speakers. Brief summary of the curriculum: 
  • Francisco Caccavo,  Consultant, Medicines and Health Technologies, Health Systems and Services
  • Valeska Stempliuk, Advisor, Health Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control
  • Silvia Acosta-Gnass, Director of infection prevention and control at Riverside University Health System Medical Center
Keywords: 
COVID-19, health technologies, medical devices, ventilators
Recording access: