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UnityPoint purchases Powered Air Purifying Respirators for front line workers

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A Powered Air Purifying Respirator.

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Health care workers are on the front lines, dealing with COVID-19 day in and day out and they have been for months.

With no end to the pandemic in sight, a local hospital purchased a new tool to help their staff be more comfortable in the fight against COVID.

Due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in Woodbury County, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's has purchased 39 Powered Air Purifying Respirators, better known as PAPR.

Kevin Handke, the emergency preparedness coordinator says PAPRs are a type of respirator used to protect workers against contaminated air.

"These PAPRs are actually more comfortable to wear because they provide a cool airflow across their face," said Handke.

Handke says the respirator blows air through the filter, instead of lung power, making it easier to breathe more naturally.

"When you have to wear that PPE that everyone hears about, the gown, the gloves, the N95 masks, the shields, you got hot underneath them, and it makes it more tolerable to wear that PPE for extended periods of time," said Handke.

He says the respirators also make it easier for patients to see and communicate with their caregivers.

"Not speaking through a mask, and with having the face shields on that everyone has seen on TV before is they fog up so that eliminates all of that, it takes the fog away," said Handke.

Handke says the PAPRs provide the same amount of protection as the N95 masks, they are simply more comfortable.

Xava Parra

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