Advanced Sterile Processing for COVID‑19 Personal Protective Equipment

Vanberkel, Peter | $49,910

Nova Scotia Dalhousie University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

N95 respirators are personal protective equipment (PPE) that are used to protect frontline healthcare workers while treating patients suspected of having Covid-19. There currently are no domestic suppliers or manufacturers of N95 respirators forcing Canada to compete for purchasing them on the international market. Covid-19 has put great pressure on the global supply making it challenging to source N95 respirators.

Alternatives to N95 exist and this project will focus on integrating these alternatives into hospital operations with partner hospital Dartmouth General (DGH) and the DGH Foundation. Particular attention will be paid to the Medical Device Reprocessing (MDR) which needs to process these respirators efficiently at the scale and speed required. Designing the logistics and management systems for purchasing (or collecting donated items), integrating them into standard practice, and the MDR standard operating procedures is the focus of this application.

Determining how best to optimize the use (and reuse) of this critical resource will have tremendous benefits to hospital operations and will greatly support the safety of critically important healthcare workers. Furthermore, best practice guidelines developed in this study will have far reaching implications for other Canadian hospitals and the Canadian government as they grapple with the significant N95 respirator shortage.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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