2011 - Industry Experts Offer Advice on Air/Water Infection Prevention - ICT Magazine

February 22, 2011, Irvine, CA  - MAXAIR System's  Industry Expert Offers Advice on Air/Water Infection Prevention to ICT Magazine

In an era of increased airborne contamination, Infection Control Magazine (ICT) asked members of industry to share what they believe are some of the best practices relating to containment and prevention in the healthcare environment.

Airborne Infections

Allan Schultz, Bio-Medical Devices International: The design and engineering controls that are part of all good infection prevention planning are the best methods to prevent and contain all types of infectious contamination. However, in the practical world, infections happen and spread. As evidenced by the recent NIOSH funded paper out of the University of West Virginia, we continually see evidence that aerosol transmission of harmful viruses and bacteria is likely more prevalent than less. Until there is consensus definition of the quantity of viruses/bacteria that causes infection, more personal protection is better than less. Increased use of higher protection devices, such as powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) versus N95s and surgical masks, should be increasingly investigated on their merits of greater protection and increased user comfort and convenience. PAPRs provide inherently greater protection over mask respirators when they are worn. Additionally (and arguably more importantly), they are more comfortable with fewer wear-related side effects, and therefore enhance use-compliance, rather than decrease it as with N95s. By eliminating the need for annual fit-testing and with a “designed-in” universal fit, PAPRs provide greater protection without the stringent concerns for N95s as to how they are donned, use after use. Their protection is therefore less subjective. Newer designed PAPRs are increasingly more cost effective and reusable than masks, another key factor in the event of a pandemic.

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