Doctors and health workers work closely with patients suffering from several diseases. They are always exposed to various germs, bacterias, and viruses. As health workers are vital for the health industry, it is very important for them to ensure their safety and minimum exposure to health troubles. Hence, for the safety of these healthcare workers, it is imperative for them to use personal protective equipment PPE.
Personal protective equipment is disposable clothing worn to create a barrier between blood, body fluids, or respiratory secretions. It acts as a barrier between you and germs. PPE reduces the chance of touching, being exposed, and spreading germs. PPE helps to prevent the spread of germs in the hospital. This can be very effective to protect people and health care workers from various infections.
All hospital staff and visitors should use PPE when going to see or visit a patient.
When to Use PPE in the Healthcare Industry
Personal protective clothing is used for infection control in the healthcare industry. PPE acts as a barrier between infectious material and your skin, nose, mouth, and eyes. PPE has the potential to block the transmission of contaminants from blood, body fluids, or respiratory secretions.
Using PPE also helps in protecting those who are at a high risk of contracting infections, such as people with some medical condition. PPE is a form of disposable clothing, which can be effectively removed and disposed of immediately in special waste containers to protect others from exposure to germs.
Components of PPE
There are various components of PPE. These components include goggles, face shields, masks, gloves, coverall/gowns, headcover, and shoe cover. Every healthcare employee should use these PPE to keep them safe. Read further to know the usage of each component of PPE.
There are high chances of contamination of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth by the droplets generated by cough or sneeze of an infected person. It could also occur during aerosol-generating procedures carried out in a clinical setting. The chances of touching the eyes, nose, or mouth with a contaminated hand are also very high and another scenario of getting any infection. Hence, to protect the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth using face shields is an integral part of standard and contact precautions.
Goggles help to prevent the eyes from any kind of infection. The flexible frame of goggles should provide a good seal with the skin of the face, covering the eyes and the surrounding areas and even accommodating for prescription glasses. These goggles help the mucous membranes of the eyes from getting contaminated.
Respiratory viruses target mainly the upper and lower respiratory tracts. These masks help to protect you against germs and prevent your own germs from spreading from the mouth and nose area. While treating any patient the contamination of the mucous membrane of the mouth and nose by infective droplets or through a contaminated hand also allows the virus to enter the host. Hence droplet precautions are important, and that can be prevented by using masks.
Masks are of different types. The two types of masks that are recommended depending upon the work environment are:
3Ply Medical Masks
A 3 ply mask is a disposable mask, fluid-resistant, provides protection to the wearer from droplets of infectious material emitted during coughing, sneezing, or talking.
N-95 Respirator Mask
These masks are a respiratory protective device with high filtration efficiency to airborne particles. These masks are designed to achieve a very close facial fit to provide the requisite air seal to the wearer.
These masks should have high fluid resistance, good breathability, clear identifiable internal and external faces, a cup-shaped structure that does not collapse against the mouth. If used correctly, the filtration capacity of these masks exceeds those of 3 ply medical masks. Hence, these provide a much tighter air seal than a triple-layer medical mask. These masks are designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne particles.
When a person touches an object or surface contaminated by the virus and then touches his own eyes, nose, or mouth, he may get exposed to the virus. However, many people don’t consider this to be a predominant mode of transmission, care should be exercised while handling objects potentially contaminated by a suspect from virus
When coming to choose the gloves, nitrile gloves are preferred over latex gloves because these resist chemicals, including certain disinfectants such as chlorine. However, if nitrile gloves are not available, latex gloves can also be used. Also, non-powdered gloves are preferred above powdered gloves.
These are designed to protect the torso of healthcare providers from exposure to the virus. Coveralls are meant to provide complete protection as these are designed to cover the entire body, including back and lower legs.
By using appropriate clothing, it is possible to create a barrier to eliminate or reduce contact and droplet exposure, both known to transmit the virus.
Gowns are easier to put on and for removal. You can also wear an apron over the gown for the entire time the health worker is in the treatment area.
If you are using an overall, then you don’t need a headcover as it covers the head. But, if you are using a gown, then you should use a headcover that covers the head and neck while providing clinical care for patients. While using the headcover ensure hair and hair extensions should fit inside the headcover.
Shoe covers are used to protect the feet area from any kind of contamination. Shoe covers are made up of impermeable fabric to be used over footwear to facilitate personal protection and decontamination.
Choose the Right PPE
As we discussed there are various types of PPE and you should choose the right PPE as per your requirement. You may need to use different types of PPE for different people at your healthcare center. Your workplace must be having written instructions about when to wear PPE and what type of PPE to be used. You need PPE when you are working with people who are in isolation as well as other patients.
What to Do After Using PPE
Once you use the PPE it is important to remove these with care. Remove and dispose of PPE safely to protect others from being exposed to germs, bacterias, and viruses. Before leaving the work area, remove all PPE and put it in the right place. This may include:
- Special laundry containers that you can reuse after cleaning
- Waste containers that are different from normal basic waste containers
- Some specially marked bags for cytotoxic PPE
Your workplace will generally specify when you need to use PPE and what type of PPE is required for your task. If you are in the medical industry and require medical protective equipment or other types of PPE, you can visit our website moglix.com and get this PPE at the best and affordable prices. Get these PPE and wear when required and keep yourself and others safe from various infections.