Our guide to buy the best personal protective equipment (PPE) online during COVID-19
PPE is in severe shortage not only in the US but all across the world. In spite of increased production and new players entering the supply market of PPE the demand is not being met sufficiently due to continuously rising demand.
Rationality while using PPE:
Hence WHO urges people to optimize and rationalize PPE so that it is used most effectively amid the shortage. Efforts that reduce exposure to COVID-19 patients and thus the use of PPE are recommended.
These include tele-medicine for consultation of mildly ill patients, use of physical barriers such as glass windows at places such as registration desk or triage room and restricting health care workers from entering the isolation rooms of COVID-19 patients shall optimize the use of PPE.
Things to consider when buying PPE:
Following are some of the important things to consider when buying best functioning PPE.
Assess the need and environment where to use PPE:
In wake of shortage of PPE you need to assess the work environment carefully to ascertain what type of protective gear is required to safeguard you.
For instance workers in triage area or administrative areas where contact with COVID-19 patients is unlikely so no PPE is required.
However, those who work in laboratory or get in direct contact with the patients need all sorts of PPE which includes: -
- Surgical mask/respirator
- Heavy duty gloves
- Eye protective gear
- Boots or closed shoes
Analyze the quality of PPE:
Before donning on PPE check it thoroughly for defects. It must not be distorted, broken or torn from anywhere. It should be clean. Wash PPE with soap and water only.
Also Read: CDC urges everyone to wear face mask in public
Do not clean with abrasives or solvents. Even reusable PPE should be replaced every 2 to 5 years. You can also refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation with respect to disposal of reusable PPE.
Make sure you do not wear PPE outside the healthcare facility or the contaminated area so that you do not spread the germs to other surfaces and people. Look out for warranty from the manufacturer in order to protect yourself against potential damages.
CDC recommends the use of PPE for healthcare workers who are fighting the virus. However, there are certain things that are very critical with regard to the use of PPE.
Firstly, the workers should be sufficiently trained to be able to use PPE. Workers must know how to handle the PPE carefully in order to prevent contaminating themselves and others while putting it on and off.
PPE should fit the wearer appropriately:
Apart from that, PPE should fit the wearer just right. It should not be too loose that it is being caught in machinery or moving parts. Neither it should be too tight that makes it difficult to wear.
Proper fitting of PPE is very important so that it provides sufficient protection against viruses.
When buying PPE online it might be the case that you are importing it from some other country. When handling the cargo of PPE you do not need to wear gloves or mask even if it is shipped from an infected country.
There is no evidence so far to suggest that the disease spreads through goods being shipped from an infected country.
However hand hygiene and disinfection of surfaces must not be compromised at any cost. It must be noted that use of PPE does not guarantee absolute protection against the virus.