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Quality Assurance Sampling Plans in US Stockpiles for Personal Protective Equipment: A Computer Simulation to Examine Degradation Rates
  • Published Date:
    2019 Jul/Aug
  • Source:
    Health Secur. 17(4):324-333
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-560.95 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Health Secur
  • Description:
    Medical countermeasure stockpiles in the United States are designed to support healthcare workers and the public during public health emergencies; they include supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE). As part of typical PPE manufacturing processes, appropriate test methods are used to ensure that the devices provide adequate protective performance. At the time of manufacture, performance is often measured and weighed against an objective standard of quality, resulting in a pass or fail attribute being assigned to individual PPE items and thence to production lots. Incorporating periodic performance testing for stockpiled PPE can ensure that they maintain their protective qualities and integrity over time while in storage. There is an absence of guidance regarding how to design quality assurance programs for stockpiled PPE. The applicability of the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) approach to stockpiled PPE was examined in a previous study that compared and contrasted different sample sizes in recovering the true percentage of defective units in large lots in the LQAS framework. The current study carries this line of inquiry forward by integrating PPE degradation over time and comparing different sampling time intervals in recovering the true underlying degradation rate. The results suggest that product degradation is more easily detected when tested at shorter time intervals and for higher degradation rates. They further suggest that sampling interval groupings can be made based on the proficiency with which they recover the true underlying degradation rate.
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