April 2, 2020
Article of Interest Re -Reprocessing of N95 masks
April 14, 2020

Many of you will have received a communication from ASP stating that during this Covid 19 Pandemic it MAY be acceptable to reprocess  N 95 masks in the Sterrad low temperature steriliser  as long as the masks do not contain cellulose and they are not sterilised more than twice..

The NZSSA DOES NOT SUPPORT the sterilising of used  N95 masks. There are enough masks in NZ to cover needs.

The masks have been used and are therefore not clean. We cannot sterilise anything unless it has first been cleaned.These masks cannot be cleaned,and therefore cannot be guaranteed clear of any body fluids from the previous user. As stated in the ASP information sheet “there is a potential risk of “Failure of filtration efficiency”

Most Sterrad machines are housed in a clean room. Dirty masks cannot be transported through a clean room for reprocessing.

Should you go against advice then it is your responsibility to ensure that there is a risk management document in place to deal with any infections caused to those using sterilised, but not cleaned, second hand single use masks which your service has sterilised.

Shelagh Thomas