Role of PPE kits before & after the Pandemic
Trends in PPE: The Situation of PPE Kits before and after the PANDEMIC
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have come into trend. Such as work from home (WFH), online teaching and learning, online meetings, webinars, and even virtual weddings. This pandemic also brought many medical instruments, tools, and medications into the stream, especially PPE kits!
Like some of us didn’t even hear of a ventilator before, face masks, respirators, and PPE kits, but during the pandemic, these were the most searched and most used words and are still in trend.
These days it is very easy for anything and anyone to trend due to the unlimited reach of social media and awareness of people. The same thing happened with PPE kits, many changes and new things were done related to the PPE kits, so let’s see what are those?
What are PPE kits?
Most of us didn’t know the meaning of PPE before the pandemic. PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. PPE kits include different equipment according to different infections. Like for common flu, PPE kits are different when compared to infections like COVID-19.
PPE kits include the following equipment:
- Gloves: It includes hand gloves that protect you from microbial and viral infection.
- Gowns and aprons: They cover the whole body and restrict the viral infection even if you’re in contact with the virus.
- Face Masks or Respirators (especially N-95): Masks prevent local infections. But, for the COVID-19 PPE kits, respirators, especially N-95 respirators are preferred.
- Eye protection gear: It includes safety goggles to prevent any potential entry of virus through the eyes.
- Boots: These boots ensure the safety of your feet.
- Face shields: It covers and shields the overall face.
- Hand Wash and (or) Hand Sanitizers: It is used for washing or cleaning hands before you wear the PPE kit and after you remove the PPE kit.
While offering the treatment to the patient, doctors can’t ask patients to distance themselves. Doctors need to come closer to the patient and that is where PPE plays a vital role.
Role of PPE kits before COVID-19 Pandemic
PPE kits existed even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. But the case was quite different back then. It was only used by doctors during the surgeries. Moreover, it was used by a few research scientists, virologists, and other people who were involved in high risk of transmission of pathogens.
In the recent past, during the Ebola epidemic, there arose a similar situation. There was a huge demand for PPE kits, and again history has repeated itself, just that it is at a global scale.
Role of PPE kits during & after the COVID-19 Pandemic
The entire healthcare system is now relying on the PPE kits. Treating patients from a distance is quite difficult and hectic. So, PPE kits are the only way to save doctors and nurses from infection.
After the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for the PPE kits has also increased exponentially. Not only healthcare servants but also government servants, the private sector are also using PPE kits for their safety. Hence, it is a very critical situation now regarding the provision of PPE kits to everyone.
PPE kits are nowadays considered as the uniform of the healthcare people. Still, we aren’t sure about another outburst of COVID-19 or any other deadly disease. If it happens, then the demand will grow exponentially. Extra production of PPE kits raises the new problem of its disposal.
We cannot produce numerous PPE kits, and provide them to each and everyone because wearing and disposing of the PPE kits is not as easy as wearing casual clothes. It needs proper knowledge and training, which is very rarely done and followed. Pollution is another big problem caused by the PPEs, and we are adding to it every day.
PPE kits saves doctors, nurses, and other medical staff from viral infection. These PPE kits have saved many lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Selection of PPE kits:
These days PPEs are produced in large varieties. So, consider the below-mentioned factors before selecting the best one.
Yes, it is an important factor. Wearing gloves longer than your hands is not at all a good choice. PPE must be chosen according to the size of the individual.
Durability and Fabric
It depends totally on the individual wearing the PPE kit. Usually, it depends upon the task you are going to do after wearing the PPE kit. Both single usage and frequently usable PPE kits are available, it will be your choice.
Before donning PPE ensure that you are well hydrated and take the necessary food. After wearing PPE it is not suggested to ingest anything. So, ensure that you are all set to wear the PPE kit.
Process of Donning PPE Kits:
Knowing about donning of PPE is extremely important for the safety of the individual, and to avoid viral infections.
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Firstly, wear the gown and the apron
- Wear a mask or respirator
- Wear a face shield
- Wear protective boots
- Wear hand gloves
- Wash hands using hand sanitizer
Following these steps, you will ensure that you do not spread any infection.
Process of Doffing PPE Kits:
To be honest, 95% of users follow wrong practices while doffing PPE. Please follow the given process for your safety. Here is the correct process to follow while doffing the PPE,
Steps to follow:
- Pull off the gown of the apron first
- Carefully take off the face shield
- Carefully take off the eye protectors
- Carefully take off the mask or respirator
- Now, carefully remove the gloves
- And, wash your hands with a hand wash or a sanitizer. Prefer hand wash with soap and water over the sanitizer.
Things to remember the most:
- Don’t use PPE kits after contacting or treating severe COVID-19 Patients
- Change the gloves after visiting every patient
- Ensure that you have washed your hands before wearing a new hand glove.
- Try to avoid touching any clean surface as much as possible
- Maintain possible distance with other staff after wearing a PPE kit
Remember that the PPE ensures your safety, and not for the people around you so maintain distance even after wearing the PPE kit.
Disposal Directions of PPE Kits:
Disposal of PPE kits is extremely important. If it is not disposed of properly, then it can be harmful to the environment.
- Don’t throw the PPE kits directly into the usual dustbin
- Don’t throw it on the streets or open areas or ground
- After the use of the PPE kit, put it inside the plastic bag
- Seal that bag carefully and put it aside away from the people, especially children
- If the test result of the user is negative you can put PPE waste into a general dustbin
- If the test result is positive, then special care must be taken
- Keep that waste away, and let it remain there for a minimum of 72 hours
- Then, you can put it inside a general dustbin
Remember that different infections demand different precautions to be taken, here we are talking mostly about the COVID-19 pandemic and its precautions.
Take Away Points
- The demand for PPE kits is huge across the world, so don’t use it if you don’t need it.
- PPE kits are very important for medical staff, so avoid them if you don't really need them.
Masks, sanitizers, and extreme hygiene are important for every citizen.
Stay home, Stay safe!