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4 Research and Design Perspectives
Pages 43-48

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From page 43...
... Four workshop speakers discussed the physiological needs of health care workers and how to improve PAPR mechanical function for the health care setting. RESPIRATORY DEMANDS OF THE HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE Philip Harber, University of Arizona Focusing on the personal protective equipment (PPE)
From page 44...
... This research examines work rates that are similar to those found in health care settings. It is ongoing work, so final results are not yet available.
From page 45...
... One of the areas of study has focused on understanding how carbon dioxide and oxygen levels change when PAPRs are worn at three different work rates. Varying intensities of physical activity in health care work (and thus varying demands on airflow within the PAPR)
From page 46...
... "Once you define those technical specifications in the engineering world, we'll link it to standards, and manufacturers will produce to those standards." The health care community has the market share to drive the PAPR market in a way similar to how the firefighter community drove the requirements for self-contained breathing apparatuses and helped to set National Fire Protection Association standards. Efforts are under way, including Project BREATHE (discussed earlier by Lewis Radonovich)
From page 47...
... Some of the lessons that can be learned from surgical helmet systems, which look similar to PAPRs but are not certified as respiratory protection, include • Increase visibility by designing for a wide and clear visibility field with optically clear lenses; • Improve communication by decreasing noise from the blower; • Reduce weight of the PAPR to improve comfort; • Reduce carbon dioxide levels to the fullest extent possible; • Ensure that the battery meter and airflow alarm are easily visible; • Avoid hyperthermia by ensuring a cooling airflow and minimize breathing resistance; and • Integrate the hoods or cowls into protective clothing systems, particularly with consideration of how the donning and doffing of the PPE is done, to maintain sterile PPE on initial contact with a patient and lack of contact with contaminated equipment when removing the PPE. Green concluded by suggesting, "the key to new advances are appropriate regulations which dictate sound design and applicable standards based on the widest range of needs, not a narrow set of tests applicable to a narrow set of needs."

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