Are we wasting valuable resources during this pandemic?

Written by: Harry Mullen MBA, CRCST, CIS, CHL, CER & Pernell Husband CRCST

The following are recommendations that CSS is sharing with our clients.

Recommendations are based on information we have obtained through various agencies such as the CDC, FDA and relevant vendors.

Remember, these recommendations are for your personal information only.

It is recommended that as a professional, you do your due diligence in vetting this process within your hospital system.



Please consider the following suggestions:


  • Receiving masks in the decontamination area is not advisable due to aerosols and other potential contaminants
  • Have a dedicated room that is separate from Decontamination as well as the Prep Assembly area
  • Inspect masks for damage before peel pouching. Discard damaged masks
  • Place N95 mask in the appropriate peel pouch based on the method of sterilization you will be using to disinfect the mask
  • Place the label on the outside identifying the user and floor/Dept it is to go back to
  • If processing within the Prep Assembly, limit the processing of the N95 mask to one work station to prevent possible cross contamination
  • Clean workstation between and after each sorting and peel packing, regardless of the location chosen
  • Appropriate PPE should always be used when working with potentially contaminated medical device(s)
  • A written policy and procedure should be in place for the reprocessing of the N95 masks to ensure everyone on the same page and understands the process
  • Document each load processing, i.e., Sterrad, Steam, Etc.
  • Masks should not be processed more that two times
  • Pouches are placed in the sterilizer on edge not flat, follow the sterilizer manufacturer recommendations
  • Make sure to use tape to keep masks from excessive movement in the Sterrad
  • Inspect masks for damage before releasing. Discard damaged masks
  • Masks should be aerated for one hour before releasing them (this is to remove residual hydrogen peroxide)


Be sure to inquire with the manufacturer of the particular mask that is in your possession as to the validity of the process.

See additional resources below:





Duke University –

Healthcare Purchasing News –