Amid shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a St. Louis, MO, health care system has implemented a process to disinfect disposable N95 respirator masks, which allows health care workers to reuse their own mask for up to 20 cycles. The novel disinfection process, developed in collaboration with Washington University School of Medicine, uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide and is described in an “article in press” on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print.
The American College of Surgeons’ resource on the optimum protection of health care personnel before, during, and after an operation has been translated into Spanish and Portuguese for surgeons and residents in Latin America. This guidance is intended to protect health care personnel in the hospital setting, including in the operation room (OR), during the COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together the latest information, data, and recommendations and explains how to minimize risk of COVID-19 infection after surgery. Specific issues addressed are as follows: