april 10, 2020
The AAE wishes to provide an update on the very important task of seeking and securing important PPE for endodontists.
Please note: We do not endorse any particular vendor. We can only share with you the information we receive that is important for members to know. We have been reaching out to major suppliers on behalf of endodontists to advocate for your prioritization. There is no denying that N95 masks are difficult to obtain. Based on information we have received from our vendor partners, the N95 masks are only available in areas deemed “hot spots” by FEMA.
There are other filtering facepiece respirators (FFRS) that the FDA has approved, alternatives to N95 masks during this pandemic. On March 24, the FDA issued an emergency authorization for non-NIOSH N95 respirators, but excluded the KN95 respirator made in China, due to concerns about fraudulent masks. On April 3, the FDA expanded that authorization to Chinese respirators, making KN95 respirators eligible for authorization but only if they meet certain requirements, including “evidence demonstrating that the respirator meets certain standards”.
AAE recommends the following:
- Contact suppliers each day at 8:00 a.m. EST, and continue to call often. Limited quantities are available each morning but no back orders are being taken.
- Refer to this document as a guide for understanding the differences between filtering facepiece respirator classes.
- If opting for an N95 alternative, please do due diligence to ensure you are obtaining authorized FFRs from a trusted distributor.
- As another helpful resource, the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities has created this FAQ document on reusing masks.
CDC Issues New Guidance
Please also be advised that the CDC has updated the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response to include guidance for emergency clinical care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to update this guidance as more information is forthcoming.
We will keep you updated on any further developments regarding mask availability and other critical COVID-19 developments.