B95: A new respirator for health care personnel.
Am J Infect Control. 2013 May 28;
Authors: Gosch ME, Shaffer RE, Eagan AE, Roberge RJ, Davey VJ, Radonovich LJ
BACKGROUND: Respiratory protection relies heavily on user compliance to be effective, but compliance among health care personnel is less than ideal. METHODS: In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs formed the Project Better Respiratory Equipment using Advanced Technologies for Healthcare Employees (BREATHE) Working Group, composed of a variety of federal stakeholders, to discuss strategies for improving respirator compliance, including the need for more comfortable respirators. RESULTS: The Working Group developed 28 desirable performance characteristics that can be grouped into 4 key themes: (1) respirators should perform their intended function safely and effectively; (2) respirators should support, not interfere, with occupational activities; (3) respirators should be comfortable and tolerable for the duration of wear; and (4) respiratory protective programs should comply with federal/state standards and guidelines and local policies. As a necessary next step, the Working Group identified the need for a new class of respirators, to be called "B95," which would better address the unique needs of health care personnel. CONCLUSION: This article summarizes the outputs of the Project BREATHE Working Group and provides a national strategy to develop clinically validated respirator test methods, to promulgate B95 respirator standards, and to invent novel design features, which together will lead to commercialized B95 respirators.
PMID: 23726655 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]