The N95 respirator. (Image credit: Banej

The N95 respirator. (Image credit: Banej

Respirators and surgical masks both help protect health workers from respiratory infections, however there has been a debate about which is more effective and different guidelines provide different recommendations.

A review of the accumulated evidence does not suggest that the N95 respirator is superior to surgical masks.

The authors suggest a randomized controlled trial, evaluating surgical masks and the respirator in a clinical environment to determine which is more effective.

Original research paper published by the CMAJ on March 7, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Gary Garber, Public Health Ontario, and Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa