Why is PPE Recommended and Rationale For Use
Personal Protective Equipment commonly known as PPEs is protective gear that is designed to keep the safety of health workers paramount. With SARS CoV-2 claiming lives in regions across the globe, the use of PPE kits is highly recommended for all the medical practitioners and health care professionals. These health professionals are the most risked segment of our society as they come in close contact with the suspected and confirmed COVID – 19 patients. PPE gear is thus used to safeguard and protect the medical professionals from the viruses and other submicroscopic infectious agents that can latch on to the human body, if exposed.
Components of a PPE Kit
A PPE Kit consists of some important elements that can effectively keep the virus and bacteria at bay. Read on to know about the basic components of a PPE kit:
Masks and Respirators
Protects against airborne viruses and those that spread when inhaled. Masks and Respirators are available in 2 variants – Triple-layered disposable masks and N-95 Respirator Masks with front valve for proper breathing & high filtration efficacy.
Gowns That Cover From Head to Toe
Protects torso, back, legs, and feet. These coveralls act as a barrier between the viruses carried by droplets and the human skin, thus preventing its spread.
Face Protection To Stop The Virus From Entering
COVID – 19 is known to contaminate the membranes of eyes, nose, and mouth. Face protection includes goggles and face shields that can efficiently stop the virus from reaching eyes, nose, and mouth.
Nitrile Gloves To Prevent the Spread
Nitrile gloves are made with synthetic rubber and are known to resist chemicals and selective disinfectants. Unlike latex gloves, nitrile gloves do not trigger allergies and prevent the transmission of COVID – 19 virus to eyes, nose, or mouth.
Usage of PPE
Guidelines For Health Care Professionals
- Proper training on donning, doffing and disposal of PPE kits must be provided to the healthcare staff. This can be done by showing them videos on how to wear and dispose of the PPE overalls. Clear guidelines must be shared about donning, doffing and disposal and areas must be designated to perform each activity safely
- The staff should also be trained to understand what PPE should be worn in which circumstances. This should be based on the setting, exposure risk, transmission of the pathogen, and many other factors. The staff must be informed that gowns are essential when working in areas with a higher risk of catching COVID – 19, gloves should be disposed of after single-use, while surgical masks and other face protection can be used for extended sessions
- Decontamination procedures must be set up for reusable PPE
- Healthcare staff must maintain 2 – 3 meters of distance at all times. This must be strictly adhered to if the staff is not wearing PPE like during breaks and in non-clinical locations
- Staff involved in scanning and reading the body temperature must also wear protective gear including the gown, face shield, mask and gloves
- Hand hygiene must be practiced after disposing of the gloves. Effective alcohol-based sanitizers must be used after removing any component of PPE from the body
Sanitizers and hand rubs like Ecowerks Hand sanitizer Rub or Antiseptic Hand Rub/Wipe can be used to clean the hands and exposed skin. Shop for these alcohol-based sanitizers using the links given below. Each of these hand sanitizers contains a minimum of 75 – 80% Topical Solution and can effectively reduce the infectious agents that can potentially cause harm.
Guidelines For Patients and Those Affected by COVID – 19
- Patients and people affected by COVID – 19 must wear a face mask in communal areas which can be disposed of once damp
- Precautions must be taken by these potential and confirmed patients when meeting any person who is fit and not infected yet
- People who want to check their forehead temperature and know whether they are required to consult a doctor or not can invest in an infrared thermometer that offers high precision measurements quickly
Shop for an Infrared Thermometer at economical prices from Fallows International and get it delivered to your doorstep. Click on the Buy/Shop Now button and order one for yourself
Rational Use Of PPE
At Front Desk
- People at the front desk who have no risk, must not wear PPE
- Those working at the health desk, immigration counter and more who have lesser human contact and are at a low risk must wear medical masks and gloves. An ideal distance of 1 – 2 meters must be maintained while working
- People who work at holding areas and sanitation staff who are at a moderate risk must wear N – 95 masks and gloves as protection
- People working at the isolation facility are at high risk because they interact with severely ill passengers must wear full PPE
At The Hospital and Clinical Areas
- People working at screening areas and respiratory clinic like nurses, paramedics, doctors, cleaning staff, etc., are at moderate risk and must wear an N-95 mask along with gloves
- Those working at the ICU and Critical Care Unit where aerosol-generating activities like incubation, surgery, post mortem, etc., are carried out must wear full PPE gear
- Medical Professionals at the emergency department and ambulance services can assess their risk profile and wear either full PPE or N – 95 masks along with gloves
- Those working at Administrative, Financial, Engineering and other departments with no patient interaction need no PPE
- People working at Laboratory and Mortuary are at a higher risk of catching the virus and are thus required to wear the full PPE
- Laundry and Sanitation staff are usually at moderate risk of catching the virus and can wear N – 95 masks and gloves to keep themselves safe
While this guidance is general in nature, one must always consider the risk, assess it, and take steps to protect themselves and those around them from an unseen enemy like COVID – 19.