Coronavirus (280) Oxford CEBM COVID-19 Evidence Service (1) Efficacy of standard face masks compared to respirator masks

31 March, 2020

(with thanks to Irina Ibraghimova and LRC Network)

Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service

https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/

'The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine has committed its skills and expertise in evidence synthesis and dissemination to the effort against the current COVID-19 pandemic.

They have published more than 30 reviews so far.'

I was interested to see a new review: What is the efficacy of standard face masks compared to respirator masks in preventing COVID-type respiratory illnesses in primary care staff?https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/what-is-the-efficacy-of-standard-face-mask...

VERDICT

'Standard surgical masks are as effective as respirator masks (e.g. N95, FFP2, FFP3) for preventing infection of healthcare workers in outbreaks of viral respiratory illnesses such as influenza. No head to head trial of these masks in COVID-19 has yet been published, and neither type of mask prevents all infection. Both types of mask need to be used in combination with other PPE measures. Respirator masks are recommended for protection during aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Rapid reviews on wider PPE measures, and what counts as an AGP, are ongoing.'

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org