The instant measurements provided by the Portacount fit-test instrument have been used as the gold standard in predicting the protection of an N95 respirator in a laboratory environment. The conventional Portacount fit-test method, however, cannot deliver real-time measurements of face-seal leakage when the N95 respirator is in use in clinical settings. This research was divided into two stages. Stage 1 involved developing and validating a new quantitative fit-test method called the Personal Respiratory Sampling Test (PRST). In Stage 2, PRST was evaluated in use during nursing activities in clinical settings. Eighty-four participants were divided randomly into four groups and were tested while performing bedside nursing procedures. In Stage 1, a new PRST method was successfully devised and validated. Results of Stage 2 showed that the new PRST method could detect different concentrations and different particle sizes inside the respirator while the wearer performed different nursing activities. This new fit-test method, PRST, can detect face seal leakage of an N95 respirator being worn while the wearer performs clinical activities. Thus, PRST can help ensure that the N95 respirator actually fulfils its function of protecting health-care workers from airborne pathogens. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
CitationOr, P., Chung, J., & Wong T. (2016). A novel approach to fit testing the N95 respirator in real time in a clinical setting. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 22(1), 22-30.
- Health-care workers
- Infection control