Your safety is essential in order to deliver care to your patients. Even in a time of constrained resources, you show up for them. You care for them. You protect them. As we navigate through this time of change together, we share a common goal: Making respiratory protection the highest priority.
You rely on us for respiratory protection. We continue to increase production to meet ongoing demand as you continue care and as elective procedures return. It’s all part of our shared mission to transform outcomes, which starts with helping protect you, so you can protect those in your care.
We know you have questions related to PPE. We are here to provide guidance on the different types of PPE, understanding proper use and protecting your skin from extended PPE use.
From disposable and reusable respirators to powered air-purifying respirators, explore the range of respiratory protection options that are available for use in healthcare environments.
Fit testing is a critical part of your respiratory protection program. Click below to learn more about fit testing and resources available to help ensure your team’s safety.
Respiratory Protection Featured Information
We are fully committed to helping fight the spread of COVID-19 by supporting healthcare works around the world. This pandemic is affecting all of us, and we are doing everything we can to support public health–including doubling our global output of N95 respirators and getting them to healthcare providers on the front lines of the pandemic.
Join our experts to take a deeper dive into respiratory protection topics to help reduce risks in the fight against COVID-19.
Part 1: Respiratory protection options and proper technique for donning and doffing
Part 2: Fraudulent activity, imported respirators, decontamination methods and skin protection
Part 3: A closer look at FEMA – Imported respirators from Asia
Part 4: Respirator implementation considerations
On June 30, 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the revocation of the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for non-NIOSH approved respirators from China and other countries outside the US due to multiple factors including the increase in availability of NIOSH approved respirators. This revocation is effective July 6, 2021, and affects the emergency use authorization of such respirators by healthcare personnel in healthcare settings. We are in the process of reviewing and updating our materials accordingly. Additional information is available on the FDA website.
Standard and surgical N95 respirators are both designed to help reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particulate hazards. In addition, surgical N95 respirators are FDA cleared as a medical device and can be used as a fluid barrier to splashes and sprays. Standard and surgical N95 respirators are both NIOSH-approved.
N95 Respirators are designed to help reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles.
Generally, respirators can be worn until they are dirty, damaged or difficult to breathe through. Note that if an FFR is used to filter bioaerosols, those potentially infectious particles will remain on the filter fibers, and therefore the respirator could become a potential source of contact contamination after use. If extended use or reuse of FFR is permitted, refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Respirators and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Covid-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard.
Extended use refers to the practice of wearing the same N95 respirator for repeated close contact encounters with several patients, without removing the respirator between patient encounters.
Reuse refers to the practice of using the same N95 respirator for multiple encounters with patients but removing it (‘doffing’) after each encounter. The respirator is stored in between encounters to be put on again (‘donned’) prior to the next encounter with a patient. Thus, N95 respirator reuse is often referred to as “limited reuse”.
An elastomeric respirator is a reusable piece of personal protective equipment with exchangeable filters. When properly selected and worn, reusable respirators effectively filter airborne particulate hazards. They are designed to fit tightly to the face and can be cleaned and reused.
PAPRs are a type of respirator that use a blower to force the ambient air through air-purifying elements. When properly selected and worn, PAPRs effectively filter airborne particulate hazards. They are designed to fit over some facial hair and they are available in a variety of styles and facepiece/headtop offerings.
It is the responsibility of the healthcare organization to determine acceptability of any respirator to help protect their personnel and ensure compliance with the respiratory protection program requirements of the U.S. Federal and/or State OSHA. The healthcare organization must also determine which tasks are considered “surgical procedures,” and if respiratory protection is required for these surgical procedures, they would need to use FDA-cleared surgical N95 respirators for those tasks and a parenthetical (or other configurations approved for emergency use).
As your facility continues to return to work and open accessibility to procedures, 3M is dedicated to providing you with the information needed to help keep people protected at every touchpoint.