Safety Goggles with Elastic Headband to Improve N95 Fit Following Failed Quantitative Fit-test

Mohamed Kamal, Mominah Bhatti, Warren Christopher Stewart, Moira Johns, David Collins, Yahya Shehabi, Solomon Rajesh Thambiraj, Sumesh Arora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: N95 respirators, together with eye protection, form vital elements of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers (HCW) caring for patients with respiratory infections, such as COVID-19. Duckbill N95 respirators are widely used but have a high failure rate when fit-tested. The commonest site for inward leaks is the region between the nose and maxilla. Safety goggles with an elastic headband may press the upper rim of the respirator against the face, th ereby reducing inward leaks. We hypothesized that the use of safety goggles with an elastic headband will improve the overall fit-factor of a duckbill N95 respirator and increase the proportion of users who pass a quantitative fit-test. Methods: About 60 volunteer HCWs, who had previously failed quantitative fit-testing with a duckbill N95 respirator, participated in this before-and-after intervention study. A PortaCount® 8048 was used for quantitative fit-testing. The test was first performed with a duckbill N95 respirator only. It was then repeated after participants donned a pair of safety goggles (3M Fahrenheit, ID 70071531621). Results: Before the intervention, i.e., with the respirator only, 8 (13.3%) participants passed their fit-test. This increased to 49 (81.7%) after the application of safety goggles (OR 42, 95% CI 7.14–1697.9, p < 0.0001). The adjusted mean overall fit-factor, using Tobit regression analysis, increased from 40.3 to 193.0 (t = 12.32, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The use of safety goggles with an elastic headband significantly increases the proportion of users who pass a quantitative fit-test and improves the fit-factor of a duckbill N95 respirator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Eye protection
  • Fit-test
  • Goggles
  • N95 respirators
  • Personal protective equipment

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