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Sars Protection

CDC Interim Information and Recommendations for Health Care Providers and WHO Hospital Infection Control Guidance concerning Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

On March 15, 2003 the CDC and WHO issued advisories containing information on personal protective equipment recommendations when caring for patients with probable SARS. Regarding respirators, the advisories state, in part:

CDC-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Infection Control

If the patient is admitted to the hospital, clinicians should notify infection control personnel immediately. Until the etiology and route of transmission are known, in addition to standard precautions (1), infection control measures for inpatients should include:

- Airborne precautions (including an isolation room with negative pressure relative to the surrounding area and use of an N95 respirator for persons entering the room)

- Contact precautions (including use of gown and gloves for contact with the patient or their environment)

Standard precautions routinely include careful attention to hand hygiene. When caring for patients with SARS, clinicians should wear eye protection for all patient contact.
To minimize the potential of transmission outside the hospital, case patients as described above should limit interactions outside the home until the epidemiology of illness transmission is better understood. Placing a surgical mask on case patients in ambulatory healthcare settings, during transport, and during contact with others at home is prudent.

The CDC advisory page also contains links to documents specific to Tuberculosis. These documents are presented because of their useful information on respiratory protection.

The entire CDC advisory can be found at

WHO-World Health Organization

- Patient movement should be avoided as much as possible. Patients being moved should wear a surgical mask to minimize dispersal of droplets. All visitors, staff, students and volunteers should wear a N95 respirator on entering the room of a patient with confirmed or suspected SARS. Surgical masks are a less effective alternative to N95 respirator.

- Health Care Workers (HCWs) must wear protective eyewear or face-shields during procedures where there is potential for splashing, splattering or spraying of blood or other body substances.

- HCWs are advised to wear respirators whenever there is a possibility of splashing or splattering of blood or other body substances, or where airborne infection may occur. Particulate filter personal respiratory protection devises capable of filtering 0.3um particles (N95) should be worn at all times when attending patients with suspected or confirmed SARS.

The entire WHO advisory can be found at:

The following table lists 3M respirators that satisfy the CDC and WHO recommendations of minimum N95 for HCWs.

RESPIRATOR       ASSIGNED              FILTER CLASS*         3M
                          PROTECTION                                           EXAMPLES

Half Facepiece      10                         N95                          8210, 8511, 9210,
                                                                                         9211, 8110s

                                                        P95                           6x00 w/2071 filters

                                                        N100                         8233

                                                        P100                         8293, 6x00
                                                                                         w/2091 or 7093 filters

Respirators are not a guarantee that the user will not contract SARS. The following items need to be carefully read and understood.

- Respirators may help reduce exposure to airborne biological contaminants, but they donít eliminate the risk of exposure, infection, illness, or death.

- For greatest effectiveness respirators need to be worn before and during the entire exposure period.

- Respirators may help protect your lungs, however, some biological contaminants may be absorbed through the skin or eyes and other protective equipment may be required.

- Fit of the respirator to the face is very important. If it does not fit properly, airborne contaminates will penetrate (enter underneath) the facepiece seal.

- 3M respirators are not designed for children. 3M respirators are designed for occupational/professional use by adults who are properly trained in their use and limitations.

- The wearer must be clean-shaven to wear respirators that seal tightly to the face. Beard, stubble or long mustaches may cause large leaks into the respirator.

- Training on proper use and limitations, including practice putting the respirator on and wearing it is required.

- Individuals with a compromised respiratory system, such as asthma or emphysema, should consult a physician before wearing a respirator.

- Each facility or individual should use the best available information to determine appropriate respiratory protection for exposures to SARS. Continue to refer to the CDC and WHO websites for their latest recommendations.

We have a large selection of Face Masks, Goggles, and protective gear to keep you healthy while exposed to outdoor conditions!

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