ANA Calls Shortage of N-95 Respirators to Protect Against H1N1 Unacceptable

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American Nurses Association (ANA) conveyed to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that reported shortages of respirator masks needed to protect registered nurses from the risk of contracting the H1N1 influenza are unacceptable, and warned the quality of patient care could needlessly decline during the H1N1 pandemic without adequate protection measures.

In a letter to the CDC, ANA expressed deep concern about shortages of the fitted N-95 respirators, the equipment CDC recommends as the minimum level of respiratory protection for health care workers who could be exposed to the H1N1 virus. Several state nurses associations have told ANA that nurses are indicating difficulties in obtaining the N-95 respirators on the job, and hospitals in their states are reporting shortages of the N-95 respirator.