2015 Volume 53 Issue 6 Pages 553-561
To assess performances of N95 respirators for Health Care Workers (HCWs) in a simulated health-care setting, we measured the Simulated Workplace Protection Factors (SWPFs) in real-time from the volunteers. A total of 49 study subjects, wearing 3 M respirator Model N95 1860 and 1860S, were fit tested using the OSHA Exercise Regimen. The test subjects were asked to perform simulated scenarios, including patient assessments, suction, and intravenous injection (IV) treatment. Two TSI PortaCount instruments continuously measured concentrations in the respirator and the room concentration. For Quantitative Fit Testing (QNFT), 36 out of 49 (73.5%) passed the fit factor (FF) criteria set at 100 and 13 (26.5%) failed. The results of QNFT were found to have a low correlation with SWPF, with R2=0.32. The geometric means (GM) and geometric standard deviations (GSD) of SWPF were 68.8 (1.1) for those subjects who passed and 39.6 (1.3) for those who failed. Real-time assessments of SWPF showed that lower SWPFs were; moving head up and down, and bending at the waist. This study identifies the needs for providing different sizes of respirators for HCWs and the importance of performing fit tests for HCWs regularly. And particular movements were identified as attributing factors affecting more on SWPFs.