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Is it possible to decontaminate N95 masks in pandemic times? integrative literature review




Masks, Respiratory protective devices, Decontamination, Coronavirus, Coronavirus infections, Pandemics


Objective: To evaluate the protocols on decontamination/reuse of N95 masks available in the literature in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Method: Integrative literature review, in the period from 2010 to 2020, on the databases MEDLINE/PubMed, Science Direct, Cochrane, SAGE journals,Web of Science, Scopus, Embase and Wiley, with the descriptors Masks AND Respiratory protective devices; Mask OR N95 AND Covid-19; N95 AND Respirators; Decontamination AND N95 AND Coronavirus; Facemask OR Pandemic.
Results: Twelve studies were included, of which 3 (30.0%) used ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and indicated mask deterioration between 2 and 10 cycles, 4 (40.0%) used hydrogen peroxide vapor, and seal loss varied from 5 to 20 cycles, 4 (33.3%) evaluated the structural integrity of the N95 mask through visual inspection and 6 (54.4%), its filtration efficiency.
Conclusion: Reuse strategies to overcome a shortage of devices in the face of the pandemic challenge the current concept for good practices in health-product processing. Keywords: Masks. Respiratory protective devices. Decontamination. Coronavirus. Coronavirus infections. Pandemics.


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Health Sciences