FDA recommends transitioning away from use of decontaminated disposable respirators

The Food and Drug Administration today urged health care facilities to transition away from using crisis capacity conservation strategies, such as decontamination or bioburden reduction, to extend the use of N95s and other similar disposable respirators. 

Due to increased supply of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health-approved respirators, there is likely to be sufficient supply of respirators available domestically to allow organizations to transition away from decontamination or bioburden reduction and reuse of respirators intended as single use items, FDA notes. 

Specifically, FDA recommends:

  • Only using decontaminated or bioburden-reduced respirators when there is an insufficient supply of facepiece filtering respirators (FFRs) or the organization is unable to obtain an adequate supply.
  • Hospitals and other organizations increase their inventory of available NIOSH-approved respirators, including N95s and other FFRs, elastomerics, and powered air-purifying respirators.

AHA members received a Special Bulletin today on this issue.