Katie O’Hearn is the research coordinator for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at CHEO, and the Systematic Review Facilitator for the CHEO CRU. She is the Chair of the CHEO Research Coordinator Network and the Co-Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Research Coordinator Group. Katie coordinates several multi-centre research programs ranging from steroids in pediatric septic shock to vitamin D deficiency in critical illness to crowd sourcing systematic reviews. Her own research program focuses on assent in pediatric
critical care research.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Katie’s research has also focused on decontaminating N95 facemasks.
Decontamination Interventions for the Reuse of Surgical Mask Personal Protective Equipment: A Systematic Review
There is limited evidence on the safety or efficacy of surgical mask decontamination. Given the heterogeneous methods used in studies to date, we are unable to draw conclusions on the most efficacious and safe intervention for decontaminating surgical masks.
Decontaminating N95 and SN95 masks with Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) does not impair mask efficacy and safety: A Systematic Review
In conclusion, the function of N95 masks, based on aerosol penetration and airflow filtration, is maintained following a single cycle of UVGI. Decontamination using UV light in the laboratory setting suggests that this can be a successful method of removing infectious pathogens from FFRs. Future studies should use a cumulative UV-C dose of 40,000 J/m2 and focus on validating the effectiveness of UVGI decontamination in the real-world setting, and on determining the impact of UVGI on mask fit as well as the maximum number of UVGI cycles that can be safely applied to an N95 FFR.
Decontaminating N95 and SN95 masks with ultraviolet germicidal irradiation does not impair mask efficacy and safety.
To help inform FFR-reuse policies and procedures, our team has conducted three systematic reviews to synthesize existing published data regarding the effectiveness of UVGI, heat, microwave irradiation, and chemical disinfectants for N95 FFR decontamination.
Parental Understanding of Research Consent Forms in the PICU: A Pilot Study
Despite positive opinions of the consent form, most legal guardians did not understand all key components of the consent information provided to them orally and in writing within 24 hours of their child’s PICU admission. Future studies are required to determine barriers to understanding and explore alternative approaches to obtaining consent in this setting.
Efficacy and Safety of Disinfectants for Decontamination of N95 and SN95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators: A Systematic Review
Aim:The objective of this review was to synthesize existing data on the effectiveness and safety of using disinfectants to decontaminate N95 FFR.