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Research Roundup: Emergency Preparedness (AIHce EXP 2022 OnDemand)
Course Description:
Recorded at AIHce EXP 2022


Bacterial Shedding From Healthcare Workers Wearing PAPRs and Air-Purifying Respirators in a Simulated Operating Room

In healthcare settings, the use of powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) during infectious diseases outbreaks has attracted interest because of the beneficial features associated with using PAPRs (e.g. no fit-testing needed, higher protection factors). However, air exhaled by the wearer is not filtered and may result in unwanted biocontamination in situations requiring sterile field conditions (i.e., operating rooms). This study quantified the level of bacterial shedding from the respiratory tract of healthcare workers wearing PAPRs, air-purifying respirators, and a surgical mask (SM) in an operating room. Eighteen participants performed simulated healthcare tasks when wearing two N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR), an elastomeric half-mask respirator (EHMR), and two PAPRs approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The bacterial contamination resulting from wearing the N95 FFR with an exhalation valve and EHMR with an exhalation valve was found to be statistically significantly higher than the bacterial contamination resulting from wearing the SM. Overall, this study shows that an SM, N95 FFR without an exhalation valve, and PAPR (APF of 25 and 100) were not statistically different at preventing bacterial contamination of simulated sterile field sites in an OR. These findings may potentially be applied in future respirator selection guidance when a sterile field is necessary.

Identification of New and Emerging Illicit Drugs to Inform Future PPE Guidance and Research Needs
Illicitly manufactured fentanyls, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine (alone or in combination) were involved in nearly 85% of drug overdose deaths in 24 states and the District of Columbia during January–June 2019. Emergency responders and healthcare workers are at risk of illicit drug exposure during routine duties (e.g. investigation, evidence collection, patient care). Illicit drugs are constantly evolving in type, intent of use, and ways of dissemination. Thus, such drugs must be continuously identified to ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to protect workers against these hazards. There is limited PPE performance data, industry performance standards, or guidance for specific illicit drugs or classes. In 2018, NIOSH, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) evaluated hundreds of chemical and radiological hazards to ensure NIOSH-approved respirators with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear protections would continue to protect emergency responders. Each partner played a critical role: 1) DHS identified emerging hazards, 2) DoD developed an evaluation framework, and 3) NIOSH assessed PPE protection gaps. In 2020, these agencies adapted this process to identify and evaluate illicit drugs and their precursors for future emergency response activities (e.g., PPE research gaps, standards development, updated recommendations, etc.)

Presentation Date:

Penelope Pietrowski, CIH
Ziqing Zhuang
Lee Greenawald, PhD

Session recordings are available for 90 days from purchase.

Stock #: AOD22_I3
ISBN #: 

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