Next Pandemic PPE Meeting Set for Feb. 25

The Institute of Medicine committee that is studying research, testing, and certification issues surrounding PPE for health care workers during a flu pandemic is scheduled to meet with NPPTL personnel in Washington, D.C.

Concern about H1N1 influenza has waned recently, but work continues on a project to ensure health workers are adequately protected during a flu pandemic. The Institute of Medicine committee that was asked in 2006 by NIOSH to study the research, testing, and certification issues surrounding PPE for health care workers during a flu pandemic is scheduled to meet again Feb. 25 in Washington, D.C., with top personnel from NIOSH's National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) facility taking part.

Maryann D’Alessandro, associate director for Science at NPPTL, as well as NPPTL Director Les Boord, NIOSH Healthcare Program Manager David Weissman, and NPPTL Deputy Director Roland Berry Ann are scheduled to participate.

The project looks at the full complement of PPE -- respirators, gowns, gloves, faceshields, eye protection, and other equipment -- potentially used by health care workers engaged in patient care. The committee earlier determined there is an urgent need to address the lack of preparedness regarding effective PPE for use in a flu pandemic, with three critical areas identified:

  • Understand influenza transmission
  • Commit to worker safety and appropriate use of PPE
  • Innovate and strengthen PPE design, testing, and certification

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