Health

Some hospital patients ask visitors to remove N95s with CDC motive

They fear that surgical masks put the most vulnerable people at a higher risk of catching Covid-19. Studies have shown that N95s, which are more tightly sealed on the face, provide better protection against airborne virus. For more than a year, many have called on the Biden administration to change its guidelines to offer more protection inside hospitals, even when mitigation measures have been lifted and the number of cases reduced.

And yet, patients across the country say they are often told to change their N95 surgical masks when entering hospitals. One woman said she was told her mask could move Covid to the surface. At the Chicago facility, Northwestern Medicine said it asks visitors to replace or cover their masks with a surgical mask provided by the hospital for quality control. And in many hospitals, doctors and nurses often wear surgical masks when treating patients, all in accordance with CDC recommendations.

“It’s confusing,” said Ezekiel Emmanuel, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, who advised the Biden administration to respond to the pandemic. “This is where the CDC has been on the wrong side for a long time.”

The concern comes as Covid’s cases rise in China, Hong Kong and across Europe, raising fears among some public health experts that the United States is at the peak of a spring wave.

The CDC and the White House Covid Response Team declined to comment, but argued that even in hospitals, Surgical masks provide adequate protection in many situations. The CDC has discontinued the universal recommendation of N95s and says the public can do the same Wear fabric masksWhich his studies have shown The least effective In stopping the transfer of Covid.

Emmanuel said Massachusetts General Hospital recently asked his daughter to change her N95 surgical mask when she went for an examination. The facility indicated quality control, but “their ‘high quality’ was worse than the quality of the mask it was wearing,” he said.

The facility told POLITICO that it was following CDC guidelines and in late January began allowing patients to continue wearing N95s until they wore a surgical mask supplied to the hospital. Erika Shenoi, the hospital’s associate director of infection control, said hospital staff wore only surgical masks, which she called “perfectly safe” and effective against Covid. The hospital does not provide N95s, he said, in part because they are “more inconvenient”.

Although daily infections have been reduced by 95 percent compared to the peak in January, Covid-19 can still be fatal for elderly, vulnerable or immunocompromised patients who find themselves in the hospital. And infections in healthy, vaccinated people can also lead to prolonged Covid, a range of barely understandable, potentially devastating medical conditions that can last from months to years.

A Recent analysis of POLITICO It is estimated that more than 3,000 patients become infected with Covid each week in January during the Omicron surge.

Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease specialist who advises the Biden administration, said there was “no doubt” that a lack of more protective face masks contributed to these heavy branches.

Osterholm wrote to CDC Director Rochelle Valensky and other senior officials shortly after the inauguration, and called on the CDC to recommend N95s to all workers.

No one answered, he said.

Attorneys for people with disabilities and immunodeficiency have asked the administration to recommend N95s for daily use in enclosed public places. The CDC refused to do so and admitted in January that tissue masks provide less protection than surgical masks or N95s. Last week, the CDC released a new reference that removed the mask recommendation for 98 percent of the country.

A team of infectious disease experts, including Emmanuel, released a roadmap this month, they hope will have an impact on the administration’s pandemic response. Among the report’s recommendations is to improve the quality of the masks worn by Americans. Their The report cites research showing that N95s Provide a few hours more protection from Covid-19 than tissue and surgical masks where protection can last only minutes.

The CDC also waited until January before Americans were told they could use the N95s without injuring the health care workers who needed it – more than a year after the mask supply crisis ended.

“The CDC has lagged behind science for years,” said Osterholm, one of the administration’s advisers.

Some hospital patients ask visitors to remove N95s with CDC motive

Source link Some hospital patients ask visitors to remove N95s with CDC motive

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