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Update on N95 Respirators

Through the hard work of the UW Medicine Supply Chain team in collaboration with 3M and the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA), we were notified that 3 lots of 3M N95 respirators (B20020, B20670, and B20679) on our shelves were not manufactured by 3M. These respirators were labeled as 3M without the company’s knowledge and were accompanied by what appeared to be official documentation. One lot are 1860s and the other 2 are 1860Ss. These lots were deployed for clinical use on and around December 25, 2020.

To ensure the safety of our staff, we have replaced all supplies of 1860S and 1860 respirators from the affected lot numbers. The replacement respirators are from our backup stockpile that includes N95s that have exceeded their manufacturer-designated shelf life. The CDC and NIOSH support the use of these respirators beyond their shelf life when needed and by following all standard respiratory protection program requirements. Please double check your supply of these respirators to ensure all have been pulled; if you find any, please contact your medical stores department to coordinate replacement. Respirators from these lots (and other lots) were also purchased by WSHA and are circulating in many hospitals and healthcare systems across our state.

Most importantly, we have not identified any increase in COVID-19 infections or infections linked to the use of these respirators in UW Medicine staff, students, trainees or faculty during the time these lots were used in clinical areas. If you used one of these respirators and have a concern, please contact your local employee health team.

As we continue to learn more about this situation, we will keep you informed. In the interim, please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We are working closely with WSHA and other hospital systems around the state that are similarly being impacted by this event.

Sincerely,

John Lynch, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control
Associate Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine

Seth Cohen, MD, MSc
Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, UWMC
Associate Medical Director, UW Medical Center
Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, UW School of Medicine

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