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Powered Respirators Are Effective, Sustainable, and Cost-Effective Personal Protective Equipment for SARS-CoV-2

Munro, A., Prieto, J., Mentzakis, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-1761-209X , Dibas, M., Mahobia, N., Baker, P., Herbert, S., Smith, T., Hine, M., Hall, J., McClarren, A., Davidson, M., Brooks, J., Fisher, J., Griffiths, D., Morgan, H., Giulietti, C., Faust, S. N. & Elkington, P. (2021). Powered Respirators Are Effective, Sustainable, and Cost-Effective Personal Protective Equipment for SARS-CoV-2. Frontiers in Medical Technology, 3, article number 729658. doi: 10.3389/fmedt.2021.729658


Objectives: The provision of high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a critical challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated an alternative strategy, mass deployment of a powered air-purifying respirator (PeRSo), in a large university hospital.

Methods: We performed prospective user feedback via questionnaires sent to healthcare workers (HCWs) issued PeRSos, economic analysis, and evaluated the real-world impact.

Results: Where paired responses were available, PeRSo was preferred over droplet precautions for comfort, patient response, overall experience, and subjective feeling of safety. For all responses, more participants reported the overall experience being rated “Very good” more frequently for PeRSo. The primary limitation identified was impairment of hearing. Economic simulation exercises revealed that the adoption of PeRSo within ICUis associated with net cost savings in the majority of scenarios and savings increased progressively with greater ITU occupancy. In evaluation during the second UK wave, over 3,600 respirators were deployed, all requested by staff, which were associated with a low staff absence relative to most comparator hospitals.

Conclusions: Health services should consider a widespread implementation of powered reusable respirators as a safe and sustainable solution for the protection of HCWsas SARS-CoV-2 becomes an endemic viral illness.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2021 Munro, Prieto, Mentzakis, Dibas, Mahobia, Baker, Herbert, Smith, Hine, Hall, McClarren, Davidson, Brooks, Fisher, Griffiths, Morgan, Giulietti, Faust and Elkington. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19; economic analysis; healthcare; nosocomial infection; personal protective equipment; respirator
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
SWORD Depositor:
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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