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N95 mask shortages may be a problem for most countries

This is not like the time that you miscalculated your underwear count when traveling and tried to make a single pair of underwear go for as long as possible. With the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, many healthcare professionals are faced with the horrible reality that they don’t have access to enough N95 face masks to properly protect themselves and have to reuse N95 masks way beyond guidelines. The associated risks of reusing N95 masks don’t just apply to health care professionals but to practically everyone out there wearing such masks.

There are reasons why some items are designed as “single-use” or “limited use.” For example, would you consider re-using the same sheets of standard toilet paper through multiple trips to the toilet? Of course, disposable N95 masks are not exactly the same as toilet paper. Using a N95 mask more than once may still fall within the manufacturer’s guidelines for that given mask. And while not using toilet paper according to guidelines poses risks to your butt, not following guidelines for N95 respirators could put more than your butt on the line. With the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) spreading, straying from guidelines could put the butts of everyone whom you contact on the line, which is a lot of people if you are a health care professional. In addition, our site has a large quantity of safe FFP2 Mask For Sale.

The question of mask reuse during a pandemic was already extensively addressed over a baker’s dozen years ago. Consider what a National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Report from 2006 entitled Reusability of Facemasks During an Influenza Pandemic: Facing the Flu offered as one conclusion: “The committee could not identify or find any simple modifications to the manufacturing process that would permit disposable N95 respirators to be reused without increasing the likelihood of infection.”

The only real solution to the shortage is to fix the shortage as soon as possible. Manufacturers must make many, many, many more legitimate and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respirators as quickly as possible. Hospitals and health care systems need to purchase them and provide them to health care professionals without any delay. Time spent negotiating or pretending that other approaches are adequate means more and more potential deaths that could have been averted. It is a sad statement that the wealthiest country in the world can’t even provide basic pandemic protection to health care professionals, the most important people in the fight against the pandemic.

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