The need of Personal Protective Equipment in the Healthcare Industry
Updated: Jul 15
Healthcare workers have been working and curing people with different diseases over the years, in doing so they come in contact with various germs, bacterias, and viruses. As healthcare workers form a vital part of the health industry, their safety must be insured so that they get minimum exposure to health troubles. This is where personal protective equipment PPE comes into play.
PPE or Personal protective equipment is a safety gear worn to minimise exposure to hazards that cause serious illnesses. It creates a shield between the wearer's body and the environment that restricts the passage of harmful agents. Doctors dealing with patients who have contagious diseases must protect themselves and PPE kit ensures that perfectly. All hospital staff and visitors should use PPE when going to see or visit a patient with a contagious.
USE OF PPE IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY
Personal protective clothing is used to control and contain infection of contagious diseases in the healthcare industry. PPE acts as a barrier between infectious material and contact points of your body such as your skin, nose, mouth, and eyes. PPE blocks the transmission of contaminants from body fluids like blood, sweat, or respiratory secretions like mucus, air droplets.
PPE also helps in protecting people who are at a high risk of contracting infections, such as people with a prior medical condition. It is disposable clothing, which can be effectively removed and disposed of immediately in special waste containers to protect others from exposure to germs. Or in severe cases can be used with proper sanitisation with corona oven.
COMPONENTS OF PPE
The PPE consists of various components. These components include goggles, face shields, masks, gloves, coverall/gowns, head cover, and shoe cover. Every healthcare employee should use these PPE to keep them safe.
These are designed to protect the entire body of healthcare providers from exposure to the virus. They are designed to cover all exposed parts, including back and lower legs. It creates a barrier to eliminate or reduce contact and droplet exposure, which are the most common ways to transmit the virus.
Gowns are easily wearable and removable, unlike coveralls. Sometimes an apron can be worn above the gown.
Masks help to protect you against germs and prevent your own germs from spreading from the mouth and nose area. Infection through the mucosal membrane of the nose and mouth is the easiest way for a virus to enter the human body. Hence protection from droplets is important, and masks help in doing so.
There are different types of masks. The two types of masks that are recommended depending upon the work environment are:
3PLY MEDICAL MASKS
3 Ply mask generally has a three-ply layer with the innermost layer used for absorbing moisture, the middle layer is a filter and the outermost layer repels water. 3 Ply masks can also protect you when others around you are sick. They offer 3 layers of protection.
N-95 RESPIRATOR MASK
An N95 mask or N95 respirator is a particulate-filtering respirator that provides optimal protection against particulates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the general public not to wear N95 respirators for protection. They are critical supplies & must be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.
Goggles help prevent the eyes from any kind of infection. The flexible frame of goggles provides a good seal with the skin. These goggles help the mucous membranes of the eyes from getting contaminated.
A face shield protects the wearer's entire face and eyes from infectious droplets. A face shield that extends to below the chin is the most effective. They are easily reusable simply requiring cleaning with soap and water or common disinfectants. Shields are more comfortable to wear than masks, and they form a barrier that keeps people from easily touching their faces.
Disposable gloves are used during medical examinations and procedures to help prevent cross-contamination between caregivers and patients. They offer some basic protection against viruses and prevent you from touching your face. Nitrile gloves are preferred over latex gloves because they resist chemicals, including certain disinfectants such as chlorine. However, in case of unavailability, latex gloves can also be used. Also, non-powdered gloves are preferred above powdered gloves.
Head covers aren't required with coveralls because they cover the head. However, it is essential to wear then with a gown.
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.
DISPOSAL OF PPE
Removal of PPE should be exercised with care, so as to protect others from being exposed to germs, bacterias, and viruses. PPE must be disposed of in:
Special laundry containers that can be reused after cleaning
Waste containers different from normal basic waste containers
Specially marked bags for cytotoxic PPE
PPE is required in various professions to keep viruses and other harmful elements at bay. If you are in the medical industry and require medical protective equipment or other types of PPE, you can visit our website https://www.supplystreet.org and get PPE at the best and affordable prices.
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