PPE represents as a personal shield from any risk factors. In the healthcare industry, PPE helps in protecting healthcare professionals from the spread of infection through airborne, contact, blood spill, etc. They also reduce the spread through contamination.
What does the PPE consists?
PPE includes the following:
- An apron.
- Face mask or shield.
- Goggles or a complete face shield.
Among this, some are used for sessional use while the rest are disposed of after a single use itself. Sessional use Indicates the duration of duty of the healthcare professional for a day.
PPE for COVID-19:
One of the products under demand in the World at present is PPE. We have gathered some information regarding the use of PPE in protecting the healthcare professional and workers against COVID-19.
For a High Risk Zone:
This zone includes the in-patient wards, quarantine zones, clinical areas where aerosol-generating procedures are done, operation theatres, emergency wards, and laboratories handling the infected samples.
For this zone, the PPE includes the following:
A disposable apron and glove:
Worn along with a disposable fluid repellent coverall if necessary. Dispose of the disposable apron, glove, and the long-sleeved fluid repellent coverall gown after the completion of each procedure. Do not use these for an entire session and always practice hand hygiene at the point of disposal.
Respirators are devices that prevent the wearers from inhaling the following harmful gases, vapors, atmosphere fumes, and particulate matters. Filtering Face Piece class 3 (FFP3) respirator is the most recommended one to be in high-risk zone areas as it provides 99% filter against airborne particles. It is recommended for a single session use with an adequate fit covering both the nose and mouth of the wearer.
It should provide a complete facial seal and removed only outside the zone for disposal. Touching of the respirator after wearing or hanging them around your neck when in use is highly prohibited.
Do not use damaged, soiled, and loosely fitting respirators. Other recommended respirators include FFP2 and N95 (as these provide 94%-95% filter) if FFP3 is not available.
Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (FRSM):
These fluid resistant surgical masks provide resistance against penetration of any fluids including the aerosol droplets and blood in order to prevent contact with the mucosa of mouth and nose. Their barrier strength is classified into the resistant mask of various categories.
Recommended only for single-use or session use. Must practice hand hygiene at the point of disposal of the FRSM. Fluid resistant Type IIR surgical mask is most recommended in providing protection against both SARS viruses and other respiratory viral infections.
Face shield helps in protecting the eyes and our face. It covers the entire face and eyes protecting them from droplets, contact infections, and accidental touch. It is a must for any procedures involving aerosol generation.
For other Healthcare workers and paramedics:
Make it mandatory to use Facemask, gloves, and goggles while transporting patients, laboratory samples, or any suspected source. Prefer the use of single-use disposables with the practice of hand hygiene while disposing of.
Use of a surgical facemask during transportation and while visiting a hospital or clinic. Wash hands frequently with soap or alcohol rub.
Precautions for Dentist regarding their PPE:
- Firstly, It is best to use a coverall for all the instruments and devices that cannot be sterilized.
- Definitely, obtain a brief history before examining the patient regarding their latest travel in and around India.
- PPE for both the assistant and receptionist as they converse with the patient.
- A disposable fluid repellent long-sleeved coverall gown with disposable gloves when doing procedures involving aerosol generation.
- Try to limit any procedures involving aerosol generation, if necessary perform in a closed space with only one assistant.
- Most importantly, practice hand hygiene instantly after examination with 60% alcohol rub.
- Ventilated or air-conditioned room does not aid in transmission hence even with PPE maintain 1meter distance from each other.