DISINFACTS | Issue 2/2020

CLINIC Repeated use currently permitted Mask shortage: in front of the patient room (not in closed containers!). Gloves must then be properly disposed of and the hands disinfected. It is also important that every used mask can be clearly allocated to a user (e.g. by marking the mask on the strap). The RKI also warns that as a matter of principle used masks should not be cleaned with disinfectant. This could negatively affect their functionality. A joint statement made by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) in Germany describes the key considerations when reusing face masks and respirators in the current COVID-19 pandemic (date of publication: 31 March 2020) (2). The aim of the recommendations is to maintain the normal supply by lowering the consumption of medical face masks. Repeated use is now no longer excluded for justified cases. For example, respirators (FFP masks) may be reused for a particular patient during a shift. This applies for infections with pathogens in risk group 2 (e.g. MRSA, SARS-CoV-2, influenza) if there is no vaccine protection. However, the use of surgical masks during surgical procedures is unchanged as is the recommendation to change masks immediately if they are possibly contaminated and when they become damp. Do not clean with disinfectant According to the RKI, users should ensure that they do not contaminate either the mask (particularly the inside!) or their face when removing the mask. After removal, masks should be stored to dry in the airlock Special situations require special measures: due to supply bottlenecks for medical face masks (face masks, surgical masks) and respirators (filtering face pieces/FFP masks) in the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has temporarily changed the recommendations for their use (1). Sources: 1. BMG/BMAS/ABAS/RKI: Ressourcenschonender Einsatz von Mund-Nasen-Schutz (MNS) und FFP-Masken [Resource-sparing use of face masks and FFP masks] (14.4.2020) 2. BMAS/BMG. Einsatz von Schutzmasken in Einrichtungen des Gesundheitswesens. https://www.bmas.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Thema-Arbeits- schutz/einsatz-schutzmasken-einrichtungen-gesundheitswesen.pdf?__blob=publicationFile DISINFACTS 2/20 page 16

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