Reprocessing of reusable face masks respirators during Covid 19

Reusable face masks respirators are generally used outside of a health care environment, however they may currently be used when clinicians cannot pass or complete a fit test with single use respirator face masks.  Usage has increased significantly during the Covid 19 crisis.

The standards and instructions for reprocessing of these devices do not normally consider the implications of medical use. At the request of SMTL and PHW, Cedar, a healthcare technology research centre based at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) Cardiff, carried out a rapid evidence scan for published evidence, instructions for use (IFU), guidance/guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) relating to the reprocessing of reusable masks. SMTL have  summarised the findings of the evidence scan alongside results from limited testing of reusable mask reprocessing, and discuss the limitations of decontaminating these masks within the National Heath Service (NHS) setting.


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