Alberta doctors outline grave safety concerns with medical face masks

To - Honourable Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health of Alberta, Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services

Grave concerns exist about the safety and efficacy of the current supply of Vanch “Disposable Medical Face Masks”. These masks are of poor quality, substandard, consistently malfunction, and do not provide adequate personal protection against a very capable viral pathogen.

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Our direct experience with these masks confirms: the fit is poor and the material over the bridge of the nose does not hold its shape nor keep the mask solidly in place. This causes the wearer to inevitably touch the mask to prevent displacement. This entirely undermines the rationale for wearing a mask. The mask has caused skin irritation, nausea, and profound headaches, which is amplified over many hours of work.

These concerns have been directed to Alberta Health Services (AHS) and their official response on April 20, 2020 was to reiterate that the “masks meet certain industrial and safety standards and as such are considered adequate and appropriate PPE.

”Investigation into the Vanch mask reveals “This standard is inapplicable to a medical protective mask and surgical mask.”(1) An important distinction is made between a “medical face mask” and a “medical protective mask” and a “surgical mask.”

"Ordinary medical masks implement the medical industry's recommended standard YY / T0969-2013 "Disposable Medical Masks", which are generally used in ordinary medical environments and have a low level of protection. This type of mask cannot effectively prevent pathogens from invading through the respiratory tract, nor can it effectively protect particles and bacterial viruses... [for use in] the public in non-intensiveplaces."(2) Neither the chosen Chinese standard (YYT0969-2013), nor the European standard (EN14683 II/IIR) masks are rated to filter particles or to protect adequately from splash contamination.

#abdocs4patients has filed a request to the Access to Information Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. A-1.) to fully comprehend the quality of the PPE we are being provided with and to gain insight into which PPE products the UCP government has distributed to other provinces without first assuring Alberta’s physician’s needs were met.#abdocs4patients is also investigating the effectiveness of the PPE with a toxicologyfirm.#abdocs4patients disagree with AHS’ assessment and government reassurance about this substandard equipment further dismissing our concern as “preference”. Our personal safety is not a preference.

As your front-line essential staff, we are putting our lives and the livelihood of our families at stake. The thought of a firefighter or oilfield worker being asked to go into a blaze with unsafe and inadequate equipment is unconscionable.

Our sacrifice has limits.#abdocs4patients



Dr Adina McBain, MD Dr Saadia Qaiser, MD Dr. Aaron Mackie MD Dr. Aaron Pink MD Dr. Abdul Kamran MD Dr. Adeboye Efunnuga MD Dr. Akinseinde Osakuade MD Dr. Akinyele Iyiola MD Dr. Aleksa Botros MD Dr. Alex Knebel MD Dr. Alexander Fay MD Dr. Alexandra Di Ninno MD Dr. Alexandra Seal MD Dr. Alicia Mason MD Dr. Amol Bhargava MD Dr. Amy Tan MD Dr. Andrea Tamm, MD Dr. Anita Lai MD Dr. Anne Roggensack MD Dr. Annelies Noordman MD Dr. Aref Yeung MD Dr. Arlie Fawcett MD Dr. Ashesh Pabbies MDDr. Ashley Gillson MD Dr. Ayesha Saeed MD Dr. Bailey Adams MD Dr. Baldev Singh MD Dr. Bash Amien MD Dr. Brian Klassen MD Dr. Brian Pedersen MD Dr. Brianne Whittaker MD Dr. Caeley Lorincz MDDr. Candy Marcet MD Dr. Catherine Phillips MDDr. Chauntille Munchinsky MD Dr. Cherelyn Lakusta MD Dr. Christine Froelich MD Dr. Christine Gibson MD Dr. Christine O'Reilly MD Dr. Christy MacAulay MD Dr. Clarence Giang MD Dr. Cynthia Kwong MD Dr. Deepak Mirok MD Dr. Dena Stockburger MDDr. Diana Grainger MD Dr. Dinesh Witharana MD Dr. Dr. Owen Gagne MD Dr. Edward Les MD Dr. Edward Woo MD Dr. Elizabeth McKoen MD Dr. Elizabeth Wallace MD Dr. Elizabeth Weninger MD Dr. Erica Button MD Dr. Estie Van der Merwe MD Dr. Evan Sampson MD Dr. Faisal Sheikh MD Dr. Faye Sirianni MD Dr. Fiona Mattatall MD Dr. Gaylene Genge MD Dr. Glenda Maclean MD.

Dr. Gurpreet Rakhra MD Dr. Heather Taylor MD Dr. Helen Yeung MD Dr. Inoka Amarakone MD Dr. Ioana Solomon MD Dr. Izu Nwachukwu MD Dr. Jan Lombaard MD Dr. Jennifer Benz MD Dr. Jennifer Guillemaud MD Dr. Jennifer Tupper MD Dr. Jessica Sparling MD Dr. Jocelyn Donnelly, MD Dr. Joe Raiche MD Dr. John Julyan-Gudgeon MD Dr. Karen Tanguay MD Dr. Katherine Bisby MD Dr. Katherine Kasha MD Dr. Katherine Malczyk MD Dr. Kathleen Game MDDr. Kathy Unger MD Dr. Katie Billinghurst MD Dr. Katrina Kelly MDDr. Kay Jian MD Dr. Kelly MacGregor MD Dr. Kelly Stevens MD Dr. Kerryn Roberge MDDr. Kimberly Chapman MD Dr. Krystyna Banas MD Dr. Larissa Seredycz MD Dr. Latisha Hewton-Backfat MD Dr. Laura Coughlan MD Dr. Laura Lassila MD Dr. Lauren Redgate MD Dr. Lindsay Jantzie MD Dr. Lisa Walkey MD Dr. Lydia Vezina MD Dr. Mai Tran MD Dr. Manisha Subedi MD Dr. Manrit Kaur Takhar MD Dr. Marc André Filion MD Dr. Maria Papadopoulou MD Dr. Mark Diaz MD Dr. Mark Langer MD Dr. Marsha Quartero MD Dr. Martin Vetter MD Dr. Mary Cummins MD Dr. Matthew Johnston MD Dr. Meghan Elkink MD Dr. Michelle Klassen MD Dr. Mike Lee MD Dr. Mukarram Zaidi MD Dr. Nadeem Bhanji MD Dr. Nanki Longowal MD Dr. Nathan Finkbeiner MD Dr. Nicoelle Wanner MD Dr. Nicole Roper MD Dr. Noelle O’Riordan MD Dr. Noel Grisdale MD Dr. Noura Al Faraj MD Dr. Novin Ihsan MD Dr. Pamela Weatherbee MD Dr. Pascaline De Caigny MD Dr. Paul Ratti MD Dr. Paula Dubois MD Dr. Philip Pink MD Dr. Rachel Grimminck MD Dr. Rachelle Findley MD Dr. Rajeev Sharma MD DR. Ranbir Gill MD Dr. Roy Turner MD Dr. Rozemin Kizuk MD Dr. Ryan Roszko MD Dr. Saadia Qaiser MD Dr. Sandy Murray MD Dr. Sarah Smith MD Dr. Sarah Weeks MD Dr. Scott Loree MD Dr. Shafeena Premji MD Dr. Shannon Otsuka MD Dr. Sharlene Hudson MD Dr. Sharon Rowan MD Dr. Shaza Abdalla MD Dr. Sholeh Dezfuli MD Dr. Stephanie Frigon MD Dr. Sudhakar Sivapalan MD Dr. Sylvia Basiriha MD Dr. Tannis Spencer MD Dr. Tara Daley MD Dr. Terri Kremenik MD Dr. Tessa Penrod MD Dr. Thomas Stark MD Dr. Ulrich Lauf MD Dr. Wendy Fortna MD Dr. Wikus Venter MD Dr. Will White MD Dr. William White MD Dr. Yin Lawson MD Dr. Yogesh Thakker MD Dr. Zahid Rafiq MD Dr. Zahinoor Ismail MD

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