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PPE Kit for Healthcare Workers: Stay Safe from COVID-19!

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has become an outbreak of respiratory illness throughout the world, including India. The COVID pandemic was first detected in the Wuhan city of China. SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of this deadly infection. It was earlier thought to be transmitted only via respiratory droplets, produced by sneezing or coughing. But, the spread of infection amongst the healthcare community has suggested that it may also transmit via direct touch or touching the contaminated objects. Healthcare professionals are at the highest risk of getting COVID-19 infection as they are in close contact with the coronavirus patients. Therefore, it is important to adopt the necessary preventive measures to ensure the safety of healthcare workers.

PPE KIT

PPE Kit or Personal Protective Equipment kit consists of different gears that protect the individuals in healthcare community settings by reducing the exposure to the infectious agent.

COMPONENTS OF MEDICAL PPE KIT

PPE kit or all cover suit is composed of head cap, goggles, mask, face shield, gloves, coverall and shoe cover

Masks

As coronavirus targets, both upper and lower respiratory tracts, masks are essential to protect the airway from infective droplets.
Triple-layered Medical masks: The fluid-resistant disposable cover provides the wearer with the protection against infectious droplets. It should be used in all the low-risk settings.
N-95 Respirator mask: This mask is also a part of PPE kit for swine flu. N-95 mask is highly efficient in protecting the wearer from inhaling airborne particles. This mask should be of high quality and should be used in all the high-risk settings.

Face shield and goggles

These are one of the important components of PPE suit. Contamination of the mucous membrane of eyes, nose or mouth may occur while sneezing, coughing or performing aerosol-generating procedures on COVID-19 patients.

Face shields and goggles provide necessary protection against such contamination.

Coverall

PPE kit or personal protective equipment kit must contain an appropriate gown or coveralls as it protects the torso of healthcare workers from viral exposure. It should offer full protection to create a barrier for minimizing droplet and contact exposure from COVID-19 patients.

Gloves

Gloves provide protection from the objects/surfaces possibly contaminated by the COVID-19 patients. As latex gloves may induce certain allergies, nitrile gloves should be preferred.

Head cap

The people involved in direct contact with the COVID-19 patients should wear this protective wear.
They must ensure that the hair should fit well inside the cap.

Shoe cover

A water-proof material should be used to make shoe covers to prevent contamination.

While using PPE kit, the basic health preventive measures should not be overlooked. Personal protective equipment should be disposed off as per the standard protocol and proper hand hygiene should be performed even after removing PPE. Respiratory etiquette and regular hand hygiene should be followed at all times. Also, a minimum distance of at least 1 meter should always be maintained from suspected/confirmed COVID-19 patients as well as their contacts. PPE kits are designed for the safety of healthcare providers and they must use a good quality one.

PROTECTION/PREVENTION TODAY FOR A BETTER TOMORROW!

References:

1.Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Guidelines on rational use of Personal Protective Equipment, available through the link: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/GuidelinesonrationaluseofPersonalProtectiveEquipment.pdf
2.WHO; Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), available through the link: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331215/WHO-2019-nCov-IPCPPE_use-2020.1-eng.pdf
3.Thomas Scientific; Virus protection, available through the link: https://www.thomassci.com/Virus-Protection
4.FDA; Questions About Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/questions-about-personal-protective-equipment-ppe\