Filtration evaluation and clinical use of expired elastomeric P-100 filter cartridges during the COVID-19 pandemic
Patolia, Harsh H.
Marr, Linsey C.
Baffoe-Bonnie, Anthony W.
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To the Editor—The limited supply of more conventional disposable personal protective equipment (PPE), namely single-use N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), among hospital systems in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic has been alleviated with the adoption of extended use and reuse policies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 These measures, along with a variety of implemented decontamination methodologies (eg, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, etc), have prolonged PPE supplies during pressing times. Another strategy adopted by the CDC and health systems to protect healthcare providers caring for COVID-19 patients and patients under investigation in limited resource settings includes the use of elastomeric FFRs with reusable cartridges. Although elastomeric respirators have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for fluid resistance, they have been endorsed by the CDC as reasonable alternatives for N95 FFRs during the COVID-19 pandemic due to their filtration approval by the National Institutes for Occupational and Safety Health (NIOSH).2 Subsequently, elastomeric respirators have formed a major arm of the COVID-19 pandemic response strategy in many hospital systems...