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FDA PROVIDES ADVICE ON USE OF PROTECTIVE DEVICES IN CASE OF PANDEMIC FLU

Nov. 28, 2005

The FDA recently published a notice providing advice for using personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, in case of a pandemic flu outbreak.

The notice lays out what protective equipment includes, an explanation of how it prevents the spread of infection, how to determine if the devices are cleared by the FDA, along with other advice.

According to the notice, devices such as surgical masks, medical gloves and surgical gowns will help prevent the spread of infection by acting as a barrier between infectious materials and the skin, mouth, nose or eyes. The notice also provides a website for consumers to use to determine if a particular device has been cleared by the FDA.

Furthermore, the notice answers such questions as: "Can I reuse personal protective equipment?;" "Is there any advantage to wearing double masks, double gloves, or double gowns to help prevent the spread of flu?;" and "If personal protective equipment is manufactured in an area affected by bird flu (avian influenza), is it safe to use?"

The notice is available at www.fda.gov/cdrh/emergency/flu_qa.html (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/emergency/flu_qa.html).