PPE Kits – The Protection You Need Amid COVID-19

Ever since the COVID-19 global pandemic broke out, there are many devices that came into light to keep people safe and protected from the COVID-19 virus. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits have gained a lot of popularity and importance. Let’s learn more about PPE Kit:

What is a PPE Kit?
Personal Protection kit the PPE kit is a crucial protective element safeguard ourselves from infections or viruses that can be transmitted. Medical professionals use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It not only protects healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, etc. but also helps contain the spread of the deadly disease.

Importance of PPE kit in COVID-19 protection
PPE Kit is playing a very vital role in the fight against this pandemic. It is contributing to minimizing the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus from one person to another. There are possibilities that our surroundings may be infected from the virus, a PPE kit protects our body parts from getting exposed to the contaminated surrounding.

Its full-proof design provides complete protection and avoid any infection to pass to or from the body. Consisting of elements including coverall, face shield, gloves, goggles, headcover, mask, and footwear, it ensures complete safety from head to toe. Each part of the protective gear is specifically designed to cover and safeguard a body part.

What does a PPE consist of?
A PPE Kit has 7 different protective elements as follows:

PPE Coverall:
A PPE Coverall provides full coverage to the body. It is recommended as a part of contact precautions and is considerably easier to put on and take off. It is waterproof and protects the body from splashes of any fluids.

PPE Face Shield:
A PPE face shield is most important in preventing transmission of the virus. It creates a barrier and reduces the chance of being exposed and spreading germs.

It’s made of plastic thus providing good visibility. It covers the size and length of the face

PPE Gloves:
PPE Gloves avoid exposure to the skin from chemicals, infectious bacteria, and viruses. Gloves protect the patients as well as the caregiver from spreading germ from the open skin. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it safeguards the health and well being of the health workers in the workplace, ensuring hand hygiene.

Remember to clean the gloves regularly after the use and replace them if they tear.

PPE Goggles
The virus is most likely to enter through the mouth or nose, but they can also enter through eyes thus needing protection. Eye protection includes PPE Goggles, which protects the mucous membranes in the eyes from blood and virus droplets. If the mucous from an infected person makes contact with the eyes, germs in the fluid can enter into the body through the mucous membrane.

A PPE Goggle covers the eye from splashes and other bodily fluids. Don’t forget to disinfect the goggles with an alcohol-based sanitizer.

PPE Headcover
Headcovers protect the spread of germs through droplet or contact routes. Potentially infectious materials can travel to the head as well as from the head. Germ transmission to the mucosae of the eyes, nose, or mouth is reduced when the hair is tucked inside the head covering.

Headcovers are single-use and should be fluid-resistance. Make sure to adjust them properly to ensure that they don’t slip.

PPE Mask:
Facemask helps infections from being spread by and to the person wearing them and protects against large droplets and splashes emitted during coughing sneezing or touching the face. There are 3 types of masks- surgical mask, N-95 mask, and home made cloth mask.

For more detailed information about the role of face masks during COVID-19 pandemic, read our blog.

PPE Footwear:
The same pair of boots can be worn throughout the working day or night, provided that they have been cleaned and disinfected properly.

PPE boots should be knee-high – higher than the bottom edge of the gown. They should be non-slippery with a completely sealed PVC sole.

Uses of a PPE Kit
A PPE kit includes all safety gear that protects an individual from health or safety risks. Using a PPE kit depends on the level of exposure. Different types of settings have different levels of exposure. Let’s discuss below:

Medical Professionals
The dangers of getting exposed is much higher in a hospital setting, as hospitals are filled with COVID-19 infected patients. In such scenarios, the medical professionals need to take full protection to ensure their safety.

Using a PPE Kit becomes even more crucial in such settings. It should include the whole range of protective components covering the whole body.

Frontline Workers
There are many people working at the frontline like policemen, security guards, cleaners, and other essential care workers. There’s a risk that they may too get exposed to the virus. It is imperative that they cover up the majority of their body to avoid any kind of contamination.

Other People
The virus spreads by getting in contact with an infected surface or body. It may also spread via breathing in droplets of a person’s coughs or sneezes. The general public should at least consider wearing masks, gloves, and face shields as per the situation.

If you are out in a place with very few people around at an adequate distance, you can consider wearing just a mask. But if you are in a little or more crowded area, consider covering up yourself properly.

How to DON & DOFF a PPE Kit
We must wear PPE Kit correctly while working in potentially contaminated areas and take it off safely. As per the CDC, below are the guidelines to don & doff a PPE correctly before entering a patient’s room.

Donning a PPE Kit
Gather all the PPE gears to put on.
Sanitize your hands using a hand sanitizer.
Put on the coverall gown. Tie all of the ties on the gown. Take someone’s assistance if needed.
Put on NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirator. Use a facemask if a respirator is not available. Respirator/face mask should cover both your mouth and nose properly.
Put on a face shield or goggles. Face shields provide full-face coverage. Goggles also provide excellent protection for eyes, but fogging of the lens is common.
Put on gloves. Gloves should cover the cuff (wrist) of the gown.
Healthcare personnel may now enter the patient room.

Doffing a PPE Kit
Remove gloves. Ensure glove removal does not cause additional contamination of hands.
Remove gown: Untie all ties (or unsnap all buttons). Reach up to the shoulders and carefully pull the gown down and away from the body. Rolling the gown down is an acceptable approach. Dispose it in trash
Healthcare personnel may now exit the patient room.
Perform hand hygiene.
Remove face shield or goggles. Carefully remove face shield or goggles by grabbing the strap and pulling upwards and away from the head. Do not touch the front of the face shield or goggles.
Remove and discard respirator (or facemask if used instead of respirator). Do not touch the front of the respirator or facemask.*
Respirator: Remove the bottom strap by touching only the strap and bring it carefully over the head. Grasp the top strap and bring it carefully over the head, and then pull the respirator away from the face without touching the front of the respirator.
Facemask: Carefully untie (or unhook from the ears) and pull away from face without touching the front.
Perform hand hygiene after removing the respirator/face mask and before putting it on again if your workplace is practicing reuse.
Is PPE Kit completely safe? Things to keep in mind
Even if a PPE kit ensures complete safety, there are still chances that you may get exposed in a hospital setting. So you should keep in mind to take other safety measures to minimize the chances of contamination.

According to the ESA, here are some safety measures to adopt.

Avoid patients, visitors, or staff who have or have been exposed to COVID-19 entering hospitals without reason.
Ensure regular hand washing and personal hygiene.
Manage patients with known or suspected COVID-19 entirely separately from those without it, through isolation or cohorting.
Cleaning regimens with a minimum twice daily decontamination of surfaces and equipment
Minimize unnecessary patient and surface contact during patient care.
Best practice of donning, doffing and disposal of PPE
Reusable equipment should strictly be decontaminated after use, as per the instructions of the manufacturer.
Appropriate waste management.