Many healthcare systems have been forced to outsource simple mask production due to international shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Providence created simple masks using surgical wrap and submitted samples to an environmental lab for bacterial filtration efficiency testing. Bacterial filtration efficiency rates ranged from 83.0% to 98.1% depending on specific material and ply, and particular filtration efficiency rates ranged from 92.3% to 97.7%. Based on mask configuration, specific surgical wrap selected, and ply, the recommended filtration efficiency for isolation and surgical masks of 95% and 98%, respectively can be achieved. These alternative masks can allow for similar coverage and safety when hospital-grade isolation masks are in short supply.
Keywords: Bacterial filtration efficiency; Homemade masks; Isolation masks; Mask shortages; PPE; Pandemic.
Copyright © 2020 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.