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image of MSA P100 masks being distributed
Thursday, April 16, 2020

AHN Partners with MSA Safety to Provide P100 Protective Masks to Clinical Staff on Frontlines of COVID-19 Pandemic

Industrial grade respirators can be used repeatedly, expected to significantly reduce disposable N95 mask usage across network

PITTSBURGH, PA — Allegheny Health Network (AHN) today announced another significant step in the organization’s efforts to assure that frontline caregivers in its hospitals have the personal protective equipment they need to help prevent exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) during the current pandemic.  AHN has partnered with MSA Safety (NYSE: MSA) to secure a shipment of P100 industrial grade respirators that can be disinfected and reused repeatedly.

The Advantage® 200 LS Respirator from MSA – which filters out nearly 100 percent of airborne particulates – is a mask not typically used in health care settings. However, because of the scarcity of disposable respirator masks caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, AHN has been working to identify options to mitigate the effects of the disposable mask shortage. This effort comes after the FDA and CDC recently issued guidance that NIOSH-approved elastomeric respirators can complement a hospital’s PPE stockpile and serve as a viable alternative to N95 disposable masks.

Designed for reuse, the Advantage 200 Respirator is a half-mask, tight-fitting face piece that covers a person’s nose and mouth, and comes equipped with twin removable filter cartridges.  The masks will be disinfected between uses by AHN’s sterilization technicians.

AHN caregivers began using the Advantage 200 masks this week. Last week, AHN also launched a unique mask sterilization and re-use program that will allow N95 masks to be used up to three times. The new P100 respirators, combined with AHN’s ability to sterilize and reuse disposable N95 masks, significantly expands the network’s supply of PPE as it prepares for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients across the western Pennsylvania region.

“When it comes to the personal protective equipment that keeps caregivers safe, our goal is for AHN to be as self-sustaining as possible while not compromising the safety of our caregivers and patients,” said Sri Chalikonda, MD, AHN’s Chief Medical Operations Officer. “We want our clinical teams to be 100-percent focused on the care of our patients with full confidence that they have the PPE they need to do their jobs at this critical time.

The Advantage® 200 LS Respirator masks will be used by the same frontline AHN staff that are now wearing N95 masks – including ICU and emergency department clinicians, or any caregiver working with confirmed or suspected COVID-positive patients.

“MSA recognizes that fighting the spread of COVID-19 requires an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Steve Blanco, President of MSA’s Americas business segment. “We are pleased to be working alongside AHN and other leading health care providers to explore and deliver PPE solutions that are helping communities better respond to this unprecedented challenge.”

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