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Better outcome of fit-test with "soft" than "semi-rigid" respirators

By Gaël CLAQUIN | 15 May, 2015

Dear community,
interesting output from this study of fit-testing done in France (slides 20-22, easy to understand even if not at ease with French language) with different types of respirators.
Conclusion is for a clearly better chance of fitness with soft-type like "duckbill" and "flexwing" types as compared to semi-rigid models like "half-cup".
As this has practical consequences for procurement and effectiveness of staff protection I wanted to share this experience and wondered :
1. if some of you have the same experience, even if not as rigorously evaluated. Regional differences are likely to be observed as various face shapes exist and can fit better with some models : if members from SE Asia, India/Sri Lanka, various part of Africa, without mentioning countries with huge ethnic diversity like Russia or USA could share on their experience in this regards it"d be extremely useful
2. what are your field practice in terms of procurement : are various models ordered ? If single model is it always the "cup" or "half-sphere" one ? Do you know what drive this choice ?



Grigory Volchenkov, MD Moderator Replied at 6:46 AM, 15 May 2015

Thank you Gael for raising interesting and important issue. 
I would like to share experience from Russia. We have also found that in terms of respirator fit test results of our staff ("European" faces) the highest proprtion off "pass" results is for foldable models like 3M 9320, 3M 9322, 3M VFlex 9152 RS, Alina 206. Highest proportion of failed tests is for "cup shaped" respirators. "Duckbill" respirators are something in between. 
We base our procurement for entire region of Russia on actual fit testing results on several models and sizes and usually purchase 3 different models/sizes (with and without exhalation valve) so every empolyee has the opportunity to use in high risk settings the model/size wich fits best personally her/him. Without fit testing every high risk staff member nobody knows which model/size should be provided for the particular individual.
So I believe procurement decision should be based not only on "duckbill", "flexwing" or "cup" choice, but on actual fit testing results on target staff. 
Dr. Grigory V. Volchenkov

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