January 19, 2010 | | Comments 1
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How goeth your respirator fit-testing?

While it does appear that a bullet was dodged when the supremacy of the N-95 respirators in regards to managing staff exposures to H1N1 wasn’t quite roundly validated, the thought did occur to me that there are a number of other practical applications for that class of personal protective equipment (PPE).

And it all brought me back (as it somehow always does) to the whole challenge of fit-testing folks who fall into the appropriate risk categories.

Are folks out there chasing everyone at risk? Are you doing just-in-time fit-testing (a difficult one to pull off, I suspect, but mayhaps)? Or perhaps you’ve gone the route of PAPRs?

I don’t think this one’s going to go away any time soon, but if anyone has some nifty strategy they wouldn’t mind sharing with the safety clans (and I realize that I’m presuming to speak for all the clans – though I’ve not painted my face blue), we are all ears!

Or indeed, if anyone has surmounted (or is still stuck behind) some knotty circumstances, you also have valuable intelligence on this one that we can all learn from. You can comment in the box below.

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Filed Under: CDC/infection controlEmergency managementOSHA


Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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  1. We switched to using the MaxAir system. No fit testing required! (It’s a positive pressure system vs. a negative pressure system.) Everyone is able to easily use it. Our staff realizes and appreciates that this is better protection than an N-95. It is alway there when needed. We are very happy with it. Ruth S.

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