Previous guidance has confirmed valved non-shrouded FFP3 respirators should be worn with a full-face shield if blood or bodily fluid splashing is anticipated. This updated guidance clarifies that valved respirators should not be worn by a healthcare worker/operator in sterile areas such as theatres/surgical settings or while undertaking a sterile procedure, such as central line insertion, as the exhaled breath is unfiltered. In these settings, please follow the approach of fit testing staff to one or more of the seven non-valved masks currently available. New fit testing should focus on non-3M models, in line with the ongoing national resilience strategy.
For support with fit testing, please contact Anton Miedziolka in the Government’s National Fit Testing Team: Anton.Miedziolka@gstt.nhs.uk.