Home arrow News arrow N-95 Respirator Fit-Testing of 5,200 Persons in One Hospital over 6 months: Lessons Learned
N-95 Respirator Fit-Testing of 5,200 Persons in One Hospital over 6 months: Lessons Learned Print E-mail
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อาทิตย์, 11 ตุลาคม 2009
 From www.bepast.org
E.S. Dade, M.S. Smith, D.R. Lucey, C.F. Feied, C.K. Wuerker, K. Myerson
Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA

 

 

Background: Our 907-bed tertiary hospital, the largest in the District of Columbia (DC), decided to offer N-95 respirator fit-testing to all full-time and part-time workers in order to enhance preparedness for SARS, tuberculosis, avian influenza, smallpox, measles, viral hemorrhagic fevers and any other natural or bioterrorist airborne-transmitted disease.

 

 Methods: From November 1, 2003 until May 1, 2004 we partnered with a private occupational health company to offer N-95 fit-testing following the standard two-step process. First, via an optical-mark recognition questionnaire we determined if each participant could be medically cleared. Second, if this clearance was obtained then qualitative N-95 fit-testing was performed. One fit-test technician, testing four persons at a time, could test a maximum 84 persons/8-hour day. Fit-testing was offered on both day and night shifts, in large central areas and in individual smaller parts of the medical campus.

Results: 5,377 persons were medically cleared for fit-testing. 5,097 (95%) were able to be successfully fit-tested with the initial N-95 respirator. An additional 200 failed using the initial respirator but passed the fit-testing using one of two alternative N-95 respirators. Only the remaining 80 (1.5%) persons could not be fit-tested.

 

Conclusions: Lessons learned included: (1) by the third month of the program a directive from the hospital President was needed to increase participation in the fit-testing program; (2) Detailed information system support was essential to track what became a multi-step process from the distribution of questionnaires to the final documentation of compliance reports to department managers. (3) confidentiality concerns regarding the medical clearance questionnaires were resolved in some cases only by face-to-face interviews with an occupational health nurse; (4) time requirements ranged from 10-30 minutes for the questionnaire, and 18-35 minutes for fit-testing, including the 'fit-check' demonstration on how to self-monitor the respirator seal; (5) easy access to handwashing and drinking water were important to remove the testing solution and decrease the test-failure rate.

Last Updated ( อาทิตย์, 11 ตุลาคม 2009 )
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