Dangers of reusing an N95
During the height of the pandemic, many of us were forced to reuse our Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) for long periods of time. Sometimes we would stretch it for more than a week.
The global shortage of PPE made it difficult to provide daily PPE to every healthcare worker. It was reflected on many healthcare personnel becoming sick.
Recent and alarming data published during the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) in October 2020 found that N95 masks should not be used for more than 2 days.
Although a small patient population, study data showed that >50% N95 failed by day 2.
By day 4, >75% N95 failed. Data is significant to indicate that PPE, specially N95 should not be used for more than 2 days.
Preparing ourselves with adequate PPE to evaluate patients and provide quality of care is key, making sure we know how long to reuse disposable PPE will warrant our safety and that of our patients.