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Quality Assurance Sampling Plans in US Stockpiles for Personal Protective Equipment
  • Published Date:
    2019 Mar/Apr
  • Source:
    Health Secur. 17(2):140-151
  • Language:
    English


Public Access Version Available on: March 01, 2020 information icon
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    31009257
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6712566
  • Description:
    Personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpiles in the United States were established to facilitate rapid deployment of medical assets to sites affected by public health emergencies. Large quantities of PPE were introduced into US stockpiles because of the need to protect healthcare and other professionals during these events. Because most stockpiled PPE was acquired during, or immediately following, large-scale public health events, such as pandemic influenza planning (2005-20080), SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009-10), and Ebola (2014-15), aging PPE poses a significant problem. PPE such as N95 filtering face piece respirators were not designed to be stored for long periods, and much of the currently stored PPE has exceeded its manufacturer-assigned shelf life. Given the significant investment in the procurement and storage of PPE, along with projections of consumption during public health emergencies, discarding large quantities of potentially viable PPE is not an attractive option. Although shelf-life extension programs exist for other stockpiled medical assets, no such option is currently available for stockpiled PPE. This article posits stockpile quality assurance sampling plans as a mechanism through which shelf-life extension programs for stockpiled PPE may be achieved. We discuss some of the nuances that should be considered when developing a plan tailored to stockpiles and provide basic decision tools that may be used in the context of a quality assurance program tailored to stockpiled PPE. We also explore basic information by comparing and contrasting different sample size options.

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