Sentara will now sterilize PPEs for reuse

Sentara Healthcare is the latest health system to reuse personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization announced Wednesday they are sterilizing N95 respirators, surgical masks and impermeable surgical gowns.

“We are confident the process we are using will keep our employees safe and extend the life of limited PPE supplies,” said Mary Morin, vice president of clinical effectiveness for Sentara, in a prepared statement. “Safety is our first priority for patients and employees and this is one method we can use to achieve that goal during this extraordinary time when we all have to think creatively.”

After the PPE is collected from the hospitals and emergency departments, they are sent to a “trusted vendor” to undergo a 7.5 hour hydrogen peroxide vapor sterilization procedure followed by CDC approved spore testing, according to a news release from Sentara.

“Duke, Yale, Emory and Battelle Medicine are currently using this type of sterilization process,” according to the news release. “It takes about ten days to collect, reprocess and redistribute the appropriate materials across the system.”

Earlier this week, Riverside Health System announced Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News is now using UV light to disinfect N95 Respirators to conserve PPE.

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