Assessing the efficacy of tabs on filtering facepiece respirator straps to increase proper doffing techniques while reducing contact transmission of pathogens
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Assessing the efficacy of tabs on filtering facepiece respirator straps to increase proper doffing techniques while reducing contact transmission of pathogens
  • Published Date:

    October 02 2016

  • Source:
    J Occup Environ Hyg. 13(10):794-801
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-1.48 MB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    J Occup Environ Hyg
  • Description:
    NIOSH-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are used in healthcare settings as a control measure to mitigate exposures to airborne infectious particles. When the outer surface of an FFR becomes contaminated, it presents a contact transmission risk to the wearer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends that healthcare workers (HCWs) doff FFRs by grasping the straps at the back of the head to avoid contact with the potentially contaminated surface. Adherence to proper doffing technique is reportedly low due to numerous factors including difficulty in locating and grasping the straps. This study compares the impact of tabs placed on FFR straps to controls (without tabs) on proper doffing, ease of use and comfort, and reduction of transfer of contamination to the wearer. Utilizing a fluorescent agent as a tracer to track contamination from FFRs to hand and head areas of 20 human subjects demonstrated that there was no difference in tabbed FFR straps and controls with respect to promoting proper doffing (p = 0.48), but did make doffing easier (p = 0.04) as indicated by 7 of 8 subjects that used the tabs. Seven of the 20 subjects felt that FFRs with tabs were easier to remove, while only 2 of 20 indicated that FFRs without tabs were easier to remove. Discomfort was not a factor for either FFR strap type. When removing an FFR with contaminated hands, the use of the tabs significantly reduced the amount of tracer transfer compared to straps without tabs (p = 0.012). FFRs with tabs on the straps are associated with ease of doffing and significantly less transfer of the fluorescent tracer.
  • Pubmed ID:
    27105142
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5682596
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