Ohio hospitals urge for officials to drop N95 respirator mask requirement

Emergency Management Alert, October 20, 2009

The Ohio Hospital Association is asking the Ohio Health Department to relax guidelines on N95 respirators, reports

The special respirators are recommended by the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for healthcare workers to prevent the spread of H1N1 flu. But, the hospital association says the science around the masks is fuzzy. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this month said surgical masks were just as good as the N95 respirator masks at preventing the spread of flu.

N95 masks are also in short supply, reports The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center said they will continue using the N95 masks until the CDC recommendation changes. On October 14, 2009, the CDC released updated H1N1 guidelines, which still include the recommendation for healthcare personnel to wear the N95 respirator masks.


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