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Cooper University Hospital: A Case Study on Elastomeric Respirators for Healthcare Workers

In 2022, Cooper University Hospital trialed Dentec's Comfort-Air®NxMD elastomeric respirator for their healthcare workers and upon review, seek to move to it exclusively. Learn why Cooper's top Doctor and staff prefer this American Made, reusable respirator.
Cooper University Hospital

Cooper Health University Hospital Trials Elastomeric Respirators with Source Control to Protect Against COVID.


About Cooper University Hospital


Cooper University Health Care is the leading academic health system in South Jersey and provides access to primary, specialty, tertiary, and urgent care, all within one complete health system. 


  • 8500+ Employees
  • 800+ Physicians practicing in more than 75 specialties.
  • Cooper Combating COVID-19 Since March 12, 2020 132,507 Patients tested positive and 4,355 hospitalizations.


Hospitals throughout the region send the most complex and critically ill and injured to Cooper for treatment by their highly trained experts.

elastomeric respirator for healthcare


The Background


Cooper University Hospital participated in the US National Stockpile project to trial reusable elastomeric respirators for their healthcare workers and selected the Dentec Safety Comfort-Air®NxMD Respirator and will be converting 8,800 staff to be fit-tested.


elastomeric respirators for healthcare


Cooper’s allotment was due to a request from State and Federal folks to respond to the NIOSH/ CDC RFP regarding Hospital use of elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMR’s). Part of that participation provided successful applicants with acquiring product, that being one of the NIOSH approved EHMR’s that provide source protection. Upon review of available choices, Cooper Health chose the Comfort-Air®NxMD Respirator and seek to move to it exclusively.




  1. No Source Control. COVID is an infectious disease risk.  When Cooper tried to source other respirator vendors no one else considered that the healthcare worker could be infected and at risk. 
  2. Supply Chain Issues. Like most hospitals, Cooper was facing supply chain disruptions for critical PPE during the peak of COVID.
  3. Overcoming misconceptions on the comfort and audibility of elastomeric respirators vs. disposables.


Key Findings


elastomeric respirator for healthcare


  1. Source Control. Prior to implementing the Comfort-Air®NxMD, educating and policing staff on the importance of source control was a challenge. Dentec’s solution (an elastomeric N95 respirator WITHOUT an exhalation valve), overcame that.
  2. No issues with communication when wearing the respirator. In fact, it was clearer than using a competitive product with a speech diaphragm.
  3. MADE IN AMERICA! Dentec’s elastomeric respirators eliminate supply chain issues.
  4. Easy to clean. The ease of maintenance of the source control on the ComfortAir®NxMD was key. Compared to other elastomeric masks which are difficult to clean and leads to the worry of contamination thus needing to be replaced.


The Results: Most comfortable mask


85% of the healthcare workers stated that the Comfort-Air®NxMD Respirator is the most comfortable mask they have worn including disposable respirators. They did not have any issues fit testing the team and in fact were able to fit test one individual who was never able to get a proper fit and seal before.



Dr. Michael A. Kirchoff’s Feedback “The Comfort-Air®NxMD Checks Every Box!”


“Initially, we didn’t have good testing for COVID and asymptomatic spreaders. We tried to do source control in house to keep staff and patients safe, but other respirators with exhalation valves put staff and patients at risk. We constantly had to police, educate people. We were also facing supply chain disruptions and saw the emerging crisis with PPE shortages. I wanted to set up a response to address the question ‘What are we going to do when we run out of N95’s?’. Dentec Safety rode in and their Comfort-Air®NxMD Solution over came all that. We believe there is a strong argument to keep our PPE supply American based. Dentec’s respirator gives more options and choice to our staff and it’s important to have variety. Dentec was collaborative and worked with us to provide a solution and educational tools to support our roll-out campaign. Dentec’s willingness to work out “Instructions for Use” and address compliance issues relevant to hospital settings made it easier from a Health & Safety point of view and increase compliance with end users.”

Dr. Michal Kirchoff, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician


elastomeric respirator for healthcare
The Comfort-Air®NxMD Checks Every Box!


✔ Source control.


✔ Ease of maintenance and cleaning for reuse.


✔ Cooler and easier to breathe compared to disposables.


✔ An educational vehicle to remind and encourage staff to take a bio break (drink, eat, re-set) away from patient, remove mask and wipe away any condensation.


✔ No fit testing issues. Fits a large variety of face shapes.


✔ Good audibility and easy to communicate with staff and patients.


✔ Safer seal and better protection.


✔ Eliminates critical PPE supply chain issues.


✔ Sustainable and better for the environment.


elastomeric respirators for healthcare workers
Check out the Comfort-Air®NxMD Cost & Waste Savings Caclulator.


Conclusion: Cooler, easer to breathe, and better protection


Cooper Health initially rolled out the Comfort-Air®NxMD respirator in a classroom setting. According to Dr. Kirchoff, this allowed staff to build confidence in the respirator and overcome any resistance or assumptions that switching from a disposable to Dentec’s elastomeric respirator would be hot and/ or uncomfortable. Staff found it was much cooler and easier to breathe, and most importantly better protection. Providing staff talking points about the Comfort-Air®NxMD Respirator early in the adoption process when interacting with patients proved important. Patients appreciate the context, and that Doctors and staff take the time to explain the safety benefits of elastomeric respirators. Cooper Health and Dr. Kirchoff continue to advocate for elastomeric respirators like the Comfort-Air®NxMD to be a part of America’s critical supply needs and future PPE preparedness.


Interested in trialing a Comfort-Air®NxMD respirator at your facility? Request a Free Sample | Dentec Safety Specialists | Canada


For more information on elastomeric respirators check out The Advantages of Elastomeric Respirators and Why They Are Important | Dentec Safety Specialists | Canada.



Dentec Safety is a leading manufacturer and distributor of safety products in the North America since 2004. Dentec Safety is dedicated to providing the highest quality safety products and solutions delivering enhanced value and comfort. Our expertise from decades of experience in Industrial Safety and our innovative design technologies have solidified us as thought leaders in the field. Protection and comfort are at the core of everything we do at Dentec. As a leading manufacturer of Safety Solutions, it is our mission to help organizations do the right thing, keep their employees safe and exceed Industry Health & Safety Standard.

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