Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect against COVID-19
What is PPE?
You’ve likely come across the term PPE or personal protective equipment, particularly in the last few months, and probably in the context of shortages for hospitals and medical professionals.
PPE, which includes face masks and respirators, protective gowns, isolation gowns, aprons and bouffant caps, have become critical items in all healthcare settings as doctors, nurses and caregivers rely on them to curb the spread of COVID-19, while working hard to help others fight and recover from it.
Unfortunately, there is a glaring issue across the entire US at the moment and that’s a major shortage of quality PPE, putting the lives of all healthcare workers at risk. Not only that, but it puts the general American public at risk as well.
This is where True PPE comes in – an LA and New Jersey based provider of quality personal protective equipment for Coronavirus, selling affordable and medically certified PPE supplies.
What does PPE include?
Gowns and Aprons
Disposable plastic aprons and protective full-body gowns are designed to protect a healthcare worker’s uniform or work clothes from moisture and/or soiling while coming into contact with patients.
Long-sleeved medical gowns have been deemed essential by WHO for all healthcare workers, nurses and doctors to help protect against the COVID-19 pandemic. They can protect individuals in a hospital or healthcare setting from respiratory droplets and slow down the spread of the virus.Disposable plastic aprons have also been recommended to healthcare workers as they can help reduce the spread of contagions and pathogens in a “high risk environment”.
Even though the current CDC guidelines do not specifically mention protective shoe covers for protection against COVID-19 while administrating care to infected patients, they still play an important role in protecting healthcare professionals where there’s a risk of potentially infected body fluids getting splashed or spilled.
In this light, however, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration does recommend protective shoe covers according to the latest guidelines.
Sterile surgical caps are also an essential part of PPE, aiding healthcare professionals in protecting their head from any hazardous materials or particles in the environment. Microorganism in the hair can be difficult to clean and this is where a bouffant-style cap covering the entire skull can protect the hair against environmental contaminants.
When it comes to medical gowns, there are four protection levels to consider:Level 1 provides splash protection only;
Level 2 provides splash protection and some fluid resistance under pressure;
Level 3 protects against fluids under moderate pressure which is what most surgical gowns are; and
Level 4 gowns offer protection against all fluids and pathogens.
Isolation gowns are unique from surgical gowns in that they apply the Level 4 protective layering to the front and back.
Goggles and glasses are actually associated with a lower infection risk as opposed to no eye covering at all – a 6-16% reduction. A complete range of safety glasses and goggles are available for industry-specific work and also for commercial use. These are essential in protecting against COVID-19 as they seal the eye sockets completely. Users also have the option to get prescription made glasses.
These consist of a clear plastic barrier covering the face. They’re ideal for those who are unable to wear conventional types of face coverings for specific medical reasons. They can also be worn in addition to conventional face coverings for better protection. They cover the ears and extend below the chin, having no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s head support.
Face Masks and Respirators
N95 respirators and disposable face masks are perhaps the most common examples of PPE, as they protect individuals from airborne particles and liquid contamination.
However, it’s important to understand the difference between the two:
- Have been evaluated, tested and approved by the FDA
- Loose-fitting and fluid resistant – provides protection against droplets, sprays or splashes of hazardous fluids; protects others from the wearer’s respiratory emissions
- Filtration level does not provide protection against inhaling smaller particles in the air and is not considered by the FDA as providing complete respiratory protection
- Leakage may occur around the edges of the mask causing germs to seep in
- Disposable and must be discarded after interaction with every patient
- Evaluated, tested and approved by the NIOSH according to the 42 CFR Part 84 requirements
- Tight-fitting and protects the wearer from really small particles including aerosols and large droplets that are non-oil aerosols
- Capable of filtering out at least 95% of airborne particles, which includes both large and small particles as well as aerosols
- If properly fitted and donned, almost no leakage occurs around the edges when the wearer inhales
- May be used multiple times, especially if there’s no damage or deformity, continues to form an effective seal around the face, does not become wet and dirty or become contaminated with patients’ blood, fluids or the wearer’s blood and/or nasal secretion. However, should be ideally discarded after every patient encounter or after procedures where aerosols were known to be present in the air.
Other types of face masks
Cloth face coverings
These are meant for the general public and made from many types of fabrics including linen, silk and cotton. They can either be improvised using household items, sewn by hand or factory-made. The level or protection these provide is dependant on the composition of the cloth used. The more porous the cloth used, the less protection the face covering will provide.
From face masks and respirators to isolation gowns, disinfecting machines and more, we stock a complete range of high quality PPE products, all medically certified to be used in a healthcare setting.
Important Note : Surgical face masks and medical respirators
Respirators like the N95 as well as surgical masks are intended to be used by healthcare professionals, according to current CDC guidelines, as they are considered ‘critical supplies’ for frontline doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and first responders.