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New PPE Recommendations

Updated | Posted

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

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Our policy just recently changed for our PPE:

 "N95’s mask ONLY required for confirmed COVID-19 patients (not suspect). An N95 will remain in effect for ANY person regardless of COVID-19 suspicion or not that is receiving an AGP.

N95’s will now be single day use-  Staff will now be able to discard their N95 at the end of their shift. Reprocessing of N95’s are no longer required."

I contacted the infection Control nurse to question her about the ED.  She informed me that we did NOT need to wear N95 masks to triage or room suspected Covid patients, but switch to an N95 when they are confirmed positive.  That just seems completely bizarre to me.  I cannot find anything on the CDC site that supports this change.  

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

@MunoRN  Thanks so much!  I sent this info on to Infection Control.  It just seems weird to me.  She said that our facility is really only wearing N95 masks because we have enough supply, but technically, the surgical mask is fine and we are super low risk even in a room with a Covid positive patient.  The CDC site actually states that our standard surgical masks are not really even ideal unless the sides are tied and folded. because the air comes in and out the sides.  

MunoRN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

5 minutes ago, MeganMN said:

@MunoRN  Thanks so much!  I sent this info on to Infection Control.  It just seems weird to me.  She said that our facility is really only wearing N95 masks because we have enough supply, but technically, the surgical mask is fine and we are super low risk even in a room with a Covid positive patient.  The CDC site actually states that our standard surgical masks are not really even ideal unless the sides are tied and folded. because the air comes in and out the sides.  

OSHA and state Departments of Labor allow facilities to limit respirator use (instead of using respirators for all close contact of suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients) based on the CDC's PPE conservation recommendations.  These recommendations are to use respirators only for AGPs when the facility's supply of respirators is down to a single-day's supply.  

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

We have plenty of N95's

Also your new policy doesn't prohibit N95 use. And if you prefer N95 now good news is that you get a new one each day. If I were you I wouldn't ask any questions, I'd just do what you prefer.  😉

MeganMN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 15 years experience.

@JKL33 thanks. What concerned me most is that they actually considered telling us we couldn't wear N95s in confirmed Covid rooms.  Uh, no thanks...  They decided to let us 'keep' the N95 masks even though it isn't really necessary..  I'm not buying any of that medicine... Nope...