Weekly Poll: Are respirators neccessary?

By: June 22nd, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

A recent position paper by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) recommends the use of surgical masks as opposed to N95 respirators for protection against the H1N1 virus. According the paper, SHEA is in ongoing discussions with the CDC regarding this type of protection, particularly during flu season.

What do you think of this advice? Would you rather wear a surgical mask than a respirator?

Quizzes by Quibblo.com
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By Sukie Connolly on June 23rd, 2009 at 6:46 am

I think the initial recommendation for N-95 was appropriate for a novel virus. As more was learned about the virus the change to surgical mask (normal influenza PPE) was also appropriate.

By Kristen, RN, ICP on June 23rd, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I also agree with Sukie. As more research has been done, the recommendations have changed. I think this is appropriate. N95s were used as a first precaution, but as more testing has been done, it has shown that surgical masks are effective in helping to reduce transmission. Surgical masks are also cheaper and employees are more likely to comply because they are more comfortable than respirators. Until contradicting research comes out, I am advising my HCWs to use surgical masks.


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