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Table 3 Considerations regarding the use of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs). Adapted from Wax and Christian 2020

From: Guidance for otolaryngology health care workers performing aerosol generating medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic

Potential advantages of PAPRPotential disadvantages of PAPR
Higher protection factors and less breakthrough events (APF ≥ 25), compared to N95 respiratorsHigher costs and limited availability
Do not require fit testing and can be used by HCWs who cannot be successfully fit tested with N95/N99 respirators or with facial hairMore difficult and time-consuming to don and doff, with a potential increased risk of self-contamination while doffing
Reusable, and can reduce the burden on respirator availabilityCommunication difficulties due to tight seal and ventilator noise
More comfortable for prolonged useRequires complex decontamination procedures for reuse
Full facial and head cover (depending on model)Depending on model, requires supply of disposable components, e.g. filters, hoses
 Can be difficult to use in combination with operating microscopes