Extended use of N95s is safer than reuse, ECRI suggests

ECRI Institute is helping clinicians understand the risks and benefits of reusing N95 respirators during the pandemic through an updated clinical evidence assessment, reports AHA News

The nonprofit safety and quality organization examined 21 laboratory studies on mask reuse during extreme shortages, as published clinical studies on the topic are not available. 

ECRI found limited evidence to support the extended use of an N95 respirator over reuse, since donning and doffing the same mask increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 through touch.

Studies involving more than 30 N95 models found that covering respirators with surgical masks did not cause any adverse effects for the wearer, such as limiting breathing ability or gas exchange.

ECRI noted these findings are meant to provide clinical guidance for healthcare organizations and are not a definitive practice endorsement.

To view the full analysis, click here.

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