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Project Title:

Study on the Use of Elastomeric Respirators in Health Care
PIN: HMD-HSP-17-17        

Major Unit:

Health and Medicine Division

Sub Unit: Board on Health Sciences Policy

RSO: Liverman, Cathy

Subject/Focus Area: Health and Medicine

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study to examine the use of half-mask elastomeric respirators by healthcare workers. The study will explore the logistical, economic, and policy challenges and opportunities and will also focus on issues regarding personnel proficiency, proper use, and acceptance of elastomeric respirators in the U.S. healthcare system. The study will examine the practicability of elastomeric use in healthcare on a routine basis and during an influenza pandemic or other large aerosol-transmissible outbreak, when demand for respiratory protective devices by U.S. healthcare personnel may be larger than domestic supplies. The study will also address the issues regarding emergency stockpile management of elastomeric respiratory protective devices.

The study will explore questions on elastomeric viability and use within health care including:

In what U.S. workplace settings have elastomeric respirators been used successfully?
Are elastomeric respirators viable for more routine use in U.S. healthcare, and if yes, in what settings?
Would U.S. healthcare personnel more widely accept a visually aesthetic elastomeric face piece with less of an industrial appearance?
What would be required for U.S. healthcare organizations to rapidly convert, at least in part, from N95s to elastomeric respirators in a just-in-time fashion during a public health emergency?
When and how to engage in an educational campaign about the use of elastomerics for front line healthcare personnel?

During the course of the study the committee will hold two public workshops to receive updates on relevant research and to receive input from the health care community, researchers, manufacturers and distributors, emergency planners and health security personnel, and other relevant stakeholders. The study committee will provide its findings and recommendations in a published report.

Project Duration: 18 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 01/30/2018
 Meeting 2 - 03/22/2018
 Meeting 3 - 05/22/2018
 Meeting 4 - 07/17/2018


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