Respirators for Protection
Any employee entering a room with a patient in respiratory isolation for tuberculosis or performing certain procedures on a patient with suspected or active tuberculosis must wear an approved respirator. The Health System is using the N95 respirator, a mask that fits over the nose and mouth and filters the air to protect the individual from exposure to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis.
To Obtain a Respirator
In order to wear this respirator, the following process must take place:
An initial medical form is completed by the employee and reviewed by an Occupational Health nurse or physician. This is necessary to ensure that the employee does not have medical conditions, such as severe lung or heart disease, that might make wearing the mask difficult or unhealthy.
After the employee has been medically cleared to wear the respirator, the employee will need to be fit tested to ensure proper size of the mask.
Fit testing is done on a walk-in basis in OHS on the 3rd floor of Med Inn. More information about respiratory fit testing can be found here.
Employees who are not fit-tested but need to enter a TB isolation room or care for a patient with TB must wear a Positive Pressure Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR). These are available on certain patient care units. Masks may also be purchased from Materiel Services. Emergency reserve PAPRs are available for use from Patient Equipment #936-6158. Employees should consult their supervisors for information on obtaining PAPRs.