This COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to take preventative measures more seriously. This is especially true now that the cases globally are continuously rising. One protective measure the Word Health Organization is advising, especially to health workers, is personal protective equipment (PPE).
What the public usually visualizes about PPE is a complete bodysuit. This is partially correct. However, there is more to it than that. PPE is not only about what your upper and lower body wears. It is also about the protective tools you wear on your head and face. The features and benefits of each body gear are also important to understand. This way, you know which to wear when visiting places.
To better understand what PPE is, we will discuss it in detail in this article. So let’s get started!
What Is PPE?
In general terms, PPE is a set of tools or equipment worn by a person for protection purposes. The equipment can protect someone from serious illnesses or injuries. These illnesses or injuries can be a result of chemical, physical, electrical, or microorganism dangers. PPE can include hard hats, respirators, earplugs, and full bodysuits.
When it comes to COVID-19 PPE, here is the set of equipment you can wear:
Face shields are already in use in hospitals even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Health practitioners wear them for different medical procedures. These include surgeries where bone fragments or blood will not get into their mouth, nose, and eyes.
A face shield is a curved plastic with a headband and should be worn over the face. Upon wearing, make sure the fit is secure and there should not be any gap between the forehead and band. The shield should also extend beyond your chin.
When it comes to face protection, face shields can secure you from liquid droplets. Getting infectious agents from droplets is the most common way of becoming infected with COVID-19. You can also protect your eyes from the virus when wearing a face shield. It can be a hassle at some point when you wear it. However, if you want to make sure you get the right protection for your face, wearing it is advisable.
Face Mask or Respirator
Health experts group face masks into two: disposal and respirator. This is because these two provide different levels of bacterial filtration. Surgical masks protect you from infectious agents carried through liquid droplets. Manufacturers make them using non-woven fabric with a waterproof feature. Surgical masks can cover your nose, mouth, and beyond the chin areas.
Respirators, on the other hand, protect you from inhaling mist, smoke, gases, or dust that are harmful to your health. They also effectively protect you from airborne infectious agents such as viruses. They cover your nose, mouth, and chin areas.
Manufacturers make these respirators from different types of materials. The most popular ones are rubber, neoprene, and silicone. Neoprene and rubber are the most durable ones, while silicone is ideal for its flexibility, comfort, and ease of cleaning.
Covering your nose and mouth areas with a face mask or respirator is highly important. Your nose or mouth is the easiest entrance for virus infection. So, this is why health workers advise the public to always wear face masks when outside.
Viruses and bacteria can be easily transmitted through the hands. Therefore, it is important to keep them clean or protected. One way to do it is by wearing hand gloves. In terms of the COVID-19 PPE, non-sterile hand gloves are a part of it.
Manufacturers of the gloves make them from different materials. These include neoprene, polyvinyl chloride, nitrile rubber, and latex. They may or may not have corn starch that lubricates them for ease of wearing them on. Manufacturers also do not sterilize them. However, the gloves must be tested by the health authorities to make sure they are safe for use.
The isolation gown is a long sleeve bodysuit that extends below the knees. It protects you from splashing of the body fluid, blood, and other infectious substances. It covers the body front and back and then neck to thighs. It should also overlap at the back and be fastened at the waist and neck for ease of wearing.
An isolation gown also has two types: disposable and reusable. Manufacturers of disposable ones make them from non-woven materials like polyethylene, polyester, and polypropylene. Disposable isolation gowns do not undergo sewing, but their production process is through mechanical, chemical, or thermal seaming.
Manufacturers of reusable isolation gowns make the suits typically from cotton. The material makes the gown washable and then reusable. The gowns undergo sewing to be made.
What is interesting about isolation gowns is you can use them for extra protection from COVID-19. This is especially true when visiting hospitals and other health facilities for check-ups. You don’t have to wear them when traveling to hospitals because you can easily wear them before entering the facility. You can either choose the reusable or disposable one. If you have regular check-ups, it would be cost-effective to get the reusable ones.
There are manufacturers of high-quality isolation gowns you can check out online. One company you can try is HisoMedical. They offer both reusable and disposable isolation gowns you can use. Their gowns are also FDA-approved, durable, and breathable. They are the isolation gowns manufacturer worth a try!
Why Understanding the Importance of PPE Is Crucial
One major reason why understanding the importance of PPE is crucial is it lowers your chances of getting infected by COVID-19. Aside from that, you can wear the isolation gown even if you are not a health worker. This is especially true if you are in an area with extremely high cases or frequently visiting the hospital.
Another thing is you have a better understanding of the features of each tool. For example, you wear a respirator if your area is at a high risk of COVID-19. If you are in a place with low risk, wearing surgical masks is okay.
Just make sure to get PPE, whether the isolation gown or gloves, from trusted manufacturers. This ensures you get high-quality equipment that is worth the price. You can shop for these at health equipment stores near you or online.
Taking extra care against the infection of COVID-19 is highly important. The disease is still continuously spreading, and approved vaccines for the market are not yet available. In the meantime, be responsible for taking care of your health by using PPE and following other protective measures. As such, ensure you have all the essential PPE you need before even going outside!