DÄ internationalArchive11/2010Not a Safe Protective Measure Against Infection
LNSLNS Masks used to cover mouth and nose are particularly suitable for sick patients—if acceptable—in order to reduce the aerosol transmission route of infection, especially during coughing fits.

For medical personnel, such face masks—as described, the shape of surgical masks—should be subject to general discussion only if used as a means of prevention, especially with regard to patients and third parties.

For medical personnel looking after flu patients, however, such face masks are not a safe protective measure against infection and, according to the rules of the responsible insurers, would therefore have to be replaced with standardized FFP masks—meeting the recommended particle protection classes 1, 2, or 3—depending in the exposure risk (see also comments of the GUV (German statutory accident insurances) dated 30 April 2009—press information from the BGW (German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the health and welfare services)—and decision of the committee for biological working materials—ABAS—609 of -December 2009).
DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0193c

Götz J. Friedenberg
Cheruskerstr. 32
10829 Berlin, Germany
1.
Wicker S, Rabenau HF, Kempf V, Brandt C: Vaccination against classical influenza in health-care workers: self-protection and patient protection [Impfung gegen die klassische Influenza bei medizinischem Personal: Selbstschutz und Patientenschutz]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106(36): 567–72. VOLLTEXT
1. Wicker S, Rabenau HF, Kempf V, Brandt C: Vaccination against classical influenza in health-care workers: self-protection and patient protection [Impfung gegen die klassische Influenza bei medizinischem Personal: Selbstschutz und Patientenschutz]. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106(36): 567–72. VOLLTEXT