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Air Purifying Respirators Combine Safety and Comfort

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 11 May 2020
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Image: Several options of the MAXAIR Systems CAPRs (Photo courtesy of BMDI)
Image: Several options of the MAXAIR Systems CAPRs (Photo courtesy of BMDI)
A range of controlled powered air purifying respirators (CAPRs) protects healthcare workers at different levels of head and face coverage.

The Bio-Medical Devices International (BMDI; Irvine, CA, USA) MAXAIR Systems CAPRs are advanced respiratory protection systems for healthcare, chemical laboratories, nuclear research facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and numerous other workplace settings with exposure to airborne contaminants. The highly integrated design eliminates reliance on cumbersome air tubes and bulky, belt mounted blower units by using lightweight helmets that provide positive pressure air flow. All CAPR systems consist of four components - a helmet, a Li-Ion Battery, a battery belt, and a charger.

The helmet housing contains an integrated fan, filter, filter cover cap (FCC), and the airflow system, which consists of the motor and a switch that adjusts and operates airflow. A disposable lens cuff (DLC) is placed around the face via three attachment points on the helmet, providing full-face coverage. A LED indicator on the helmet alerts the user of the need for equipment maintenance in real-time. The system comes with two lithium-ion battery options; the 2000-36 battery with a run time of eight to ten hours, and the 2000-30 battery that ensures system operation for a maximum of 20 hours. Helmet power is provided by the battery cord connector.

The adjustable helmet pulls air into the equipment through the filter, which gets distributed around the face gently. Positive pressure is maintained in the helmet, which facilitates easy breathing without heat, moisture and carbon-dioxide (CO2) build-up and lens fogging. The filtration system prevents inhalation of contaminated air, requires no fit testing (such as in negative pressure respirators), and also eliminates facial pressure points. The DLC Cuff is a full-face cover (eyes, nose, and mouth) that does not require goggles, with other shroud and hood configurations that allow up to full head and neck coverage.

“The FDA cautions that N95 respirators cannot be worn by people with facial hair as a tight seal is not possible, which is why the MAXAIR Systems was created to provide the wearer a comfortable fit with or without facial hair,” communicated the company in a press statement. “We provide healthcare workers the protection and reliability they need so they can focus on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of their patients.”

“The MAXAIR CAPR systems are great because they not only protect our employees, but they offer a more humanized interaction for the patient. The front of the hood allows our medical team member's full face to be seen, which offers a more comfortable interaction than when a half-face mask is worn and our patients cannot read our expressions,” said infection preventionist Mandy Smiley, RN, of Caldwell Medical Center (Princeton, NJ, USA). “If we were ever to have to address an outbreak of any kind, this type of equipment would be essential in containing any unnecessary spread of infection.”

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