Precautions For Optimizing The Supply Of Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR)4

- Sep 11, 2020-

From a physiological/respiratory resistance point of view, PAPR may be less than other respirators.

When considering the use of PAPR in a medical institution, the institution should evaluate the limitations and factors associated with the use of PAPR, including:


Due to the limited downward vertical field of view, PAPR may interfere with the field of view of HCP.

The hearing ability of HCP may be reduced by the noise of the blower and the noise caused by the loosening of the headrest.

HCP's ability to use stethoscopes may be limited.

The PAPR battery must be charged or replaced.

Between two shifts, PAPR requires a lot of storage space.

The facility must train HCP or other personnel to maintain and properly disinfect and clean the PAPR.

Note: PAPR HE filters used in industry are usually reused until they are dirty, damaged or reduce the PAPR air flow below the specified level. Care should be taken when using filters for live viruses and the actual replacement cycle should be performed until you know more.


Conventional ability strategy

Meets OSHA's respiratory protection program requirements

When using respirators (including PAPR) to reduce inhalation exposure, OSHA requires compliance with OSHA 29CFR1910.134 written respiratory protection procedures, and the respirator must be approved by NIOSH.


To obtain NIOSH approval, PAPR components cannot be changed from its approved configuration, and only those spare parts specified and provided by the manufacturer can be used. The manufacturer’s PAPR directive is specific to the materials and specifications of the respirator model. PAPR mask, blower and battery packaging usually come with instructions. All instructions must be strictly followed.


OSHA also allows employers to use the cleaning recommendations provided by the respirator manufacturer, but the procedure must be as effective as the procedures listed in Appendix B-2, which means that the respirator must be properly cleaned and disinfected to prevent damage to the respirator . And will not cause harm to the user (for example, skin irritation).


PAPR can be used in a variety of applications in healthcare. Since PAPR provides a higher APF than N95 FFR and reusable elastic half-mask respirators, PAPR is suitable for use by first-time recipients in hospitals when performing aerosol generation procedures, or when respirator users cannot wear tight-fitting breathing When using. For effective use, the PAPR manufacturer's instructions must be followed.


The components of NIOSH approved PAPR vary greatly among manufacturers, and their response to cleaning and disinfection solutions and procedures is also different. Manufacturers' cleaning and disinfection solutions and procedures are also different. These important maintenance activities may damage or damage the PAPR mask, headgear components (hoods, helmets), breathing tubes (hoses) and batteries. If cleaning and disinfection solutions and procedures are ineffective, HCP may be at risk of contact transmission. For these reasons, manufacturers usually recommend discarding the filter assembly. Some employers may be able to follow the manufacturer's regular instructions for use, but the cost of doing so may make PAPR a less ideal solution to achieve the necessary protection.