Protective Personal Equipment

What is protective personal equipment and why do health workers need it?

Since February, our doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and other health workers have been working overtime to treat COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases. They are braving the risks brought by the new coronavirus just to help their patients battle the disease.

As frontliners, their first level of defense against the disease is their personal protective equipment. But in some cases, the health workers are left to handle their patients wearing thin, make-shift personal protective equipment. DIY and inappropriate protective gear can cause the transmission of the disease to our healthcare professionals. In fact, more than 9,000 health workers have already been infected by the coronavirus.

Because COVID-19 is easily transmitted and extremely contagious, nations are left scrambling for adequate and quality personal protective equipment for their health workers. We’ve seen photos and videos on the internet of medical personnel wearing plastic raincoats and trashbags as hazmat suits, or plastic bottles and covers as face shields. To understand why this could be dangerous, we need to have a clear understanding of what a PPE is and it’s importance in treating infectious diseases.

What is PPE?

In general, PPE safeguards its user from any potential harm in the workplace or any given environment. It is critical because it serves as a preventive measure for those that are working in hazardous industries such as manufacturing, construction, mining, and chemical laboratories.

In the healthcare setting, PPE gears serve as barriers that health workers wear on top of their scrub suits. The barrier blocks the transmission of bacteria and viruses from bodily fluids, blood, and respiratory secretions of a sick person.

It includes any protective gear such as head covers, respirators, disposable gloves, long-sleeved fluid-repellent gowns or coveralls, eye goggles, face shields, shoe covers, and closed shoes.

Why is PPE important?

The new coronavirus is transmitted by four means: contact, droplets infection, aerosols, and fecal-oral. The virus may enter our body via breathing in infected aerosol droplets or by touching any contaminated surface, then touching our organs not protected by our skin, such as our eyes, nose, and mouth. These droplets are too tiny to be seen by the naked eye so there’s no way of knowing when a biohazard will present itself.

To be able to protect themselves, medical personnel need to wear proper personal protective equipment. It’s not only the doctors, nurses, and lab workers who should wear it, but also security personnel, maintenance, janitorial, and all other people working in hospitals and healthcare facilities. 

All those who are performing activities like physical examination, blood-taking, nose or throat swabs, transporting patients, cleaning or decontaminating a room, and even crematorium services, a full set of personal protective equipment should be used. It’s the protective armor of our health workers against the virus.

To secure high quality personal protective equipment, order through our website or send us an email at orders@ppesupply.ngo.

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