The Role of Personal Protective Equipment

Taking precaution in your healthcare facility

 

In the event of a pandemic, the availability and appropriate use of PPE is critical in protecting hospital staff, other patients, and visitors. Even with the use of antiviral medications, N95 respirators, gowns and gloves are the first line of defense against the spread of a virus. Disposable PPE should be used whenever possible, because the virus can remain infectious on garments for long periods of time.

Who Should Use PPE?

 

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  • All healthcare workers who provide direct patient care (e.g. doctors, nurses, radiographers, physiotherapists)
  • All support staff, including medical aides and cleaning staff
  • All laboratory workers handling specimens from a patient being investigated for influenza A (H5N1)
  • All Central Service Professionals handling equipment that requires decontamination and has come from a patient with
    influenza A (H5N1)
  • Family members or visitors

 

 

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Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Prioritizing the Use of PPE

Prioritizing the Use of PPE When Supplies Are Limited
According to WHO Guidelines, "Provision of necessary PPE supplies should be an institutional priority.7 Reuse of disposable PPE should be avoided because it may increase the potential for contamination. However, if a sufficient supply of PPE is not available, your facility "may consider reuse of some disposable items only as an urgent, temporary solution and only if the item has not been obviously soiled or damaged (e.g. creased or torn).8

Click here for a guide on the proper removal of PPE.

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┼ Bird exposure in regions with AI infections in animals or exposure to AI-infected patient.

7 Avian Influenza, Including Influenza A (H5N1), in Humans: WHO Interim Infection Control Guideline for Health Care Facilities, p.14, World Health Organization, Amended April 24, 2006

8 Avian Influenza, Including Influenza A (H5N1), in Humans: WHO Interim Infection Control Guideline for Health Care Facilities, p.22, World Health Organization, Amended April 24, 2006

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The Role of Personal Protective Equipment
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