28 April 2020 – Recommendation for hospitals

Recommendation for healthcare facilities in Switzerland for sterilizing protection FFP masks

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English

A global increased demand of personal protective equipment, and particularly of FFP2 (Filtering Facepiece Particles of category 2) masks becomes a bottleneck in managing the COVID‐19 crisis in hospitals. The National COVID‐19 Science Task Force (NCS‐TF) recommends that, for the duration of the pandemic, used personal FFP masks should be in a first phase sterilized with vapor hydrogen peroxyde by healthcare facilities in the event of a complete shortage. Recommandations for the implementation of a coordinated, state of the art procedure are required.

Executive summary

The National COVID‐19 Science Task Force (NCS‐TF) recommends that the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) issues healthcare facilites sterilizing in a first phase their used FFP masks meeting the criteria of the norm EN 149 (e.g. FFP1, FFP2, FFP3, N95) and applying the following recommendations for sterilization with vapor hydrogen peroxyde (VH2O2) in the event of a complete shortage with the following processes from the manufacturer Steris (VPRO Max and VPRO Max II cycle Non Lumen, Sterrad 100 NX and All Clear cycle Standard, and Matachana HPO 130 et HPO 50 cycle Rapid and validated according to the SN EN ISO 14937.

In short, we recommend collecting and storing FFP2 masks or equivalent individually according to our previous recommendation. Additionally the mask user is asked to add a visible mark with a utility marker (see material) each time before using his mask. Each mask with 2 (Sterrad and Matachana) or 10 (Steris) marks wil be descarded after use. Before reuse and before sterilization, mask will be visually inspected respectively by the sterilization co‐worker and the mask user. FFP masks in individualized bags will then be sterilized with vapor hydrogen peroxide. To do so, the usual process is followed according to the manufacturer instructed cycle Steris, Sterrad, and Matachana. For hygienic reasons, Re‐sterilized bag will be returned to their designated user only only in the event of a complete shortage.

When: immediately until the end of the COVID‐19 emergency situation.

Who: all healthcare facilities using FFP2 or equivalent masks in Switzerland.

Date of request: 28/4/2020
Date of response:

In response to request from:

Comment on planned updates:

Expert groups and individuals involved: Infection prevention and control‐Task Force ReMask 2020

Contact persons: jean‐romain.delaloye@ksw.ch; damien.decourten@indema.ch; Herve.Ney@hcuge.ch; Walter.Zingg@hcuge.ch