Personal Protective Equipment used in health care industry – RespiratorsN95mask  

Types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used in health care industry

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in medical facilities is used to protect the health care workers against any sort of illnesses resulting from infectious conditions. PPE used in hospitals across US is intended to minimize the impact of hazards that the workers are exposed to.

Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) advocates the use of following PPE kit medical so that workers’ safety is ensured.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face masks:

Also known as surgical masks, they are worn by health care professionals to protect them against contaminated secretions. These include blood, vomit, mucus, urine, feces or respiratory secretions.

The masks are worn in such a way that they cover face and mouth properly to prevent any germs and bacteria to pass through.

Precautionary measures adopted across US states require health care workers to wear PPE face masks to protect against contagious droplets.


Respirators are a more advanced from of PPE used in hospitals. They purify the air that the workers breathe so that they are protected against germs and bacteria. The respirators fully cover mouth and nose giving a tight fit on the face.

They are used in extremely sensitive and contaminated environment where risk of airborne infectious particles is very high. They provide full barrier protection to wearer.

Following are types of respirators used under the banner of personal protective equipment in medical facilities across the US.

  • Disposable respirators such as N95 masks. In the recent outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus there has been an acute shortage of N95 respirators across the US. In such an emergency situation FDA has approved the import of Chinese KN95 respirator masks. These masks are almost the same as the American N95 masks in specifications.
  • Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
  • Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Respirators

Also read: Difference between N95 Mask vs KN95 vs Surgical masks


Hands are among the biggest source of spreading infection into the body. American health guidelines support the premise that medical workers should wear gloves especially when dealing contaminated environment. Gloves could be made of vinyl, nitrile or latex material.

Gloves should be disposed off after single use. If you they are soiled, punctured or torn they should be disposed off immediately in the trash bin. Once you take off your gloves make sure to wash your hands carefully.


Standard precautionary measures followed in the US require medical staff to wear gowns as part of PPE kit medical. Gowns prevent the clothes of workers from being contaminated with infectious germs.

The gown is supposed to fully cover the chest. It must be of close body fitting. Whole hands from arms to wrists should be fully covered. Depending on the severity of situation following types of gowns are available as personal protective equipment in medical centers: -

  • For highly sensitive environment where the risk of contamination is too high for instance when dealing with coronavirus patients’ disposable gowns that are sterile and fluid resistant are recommended to be used. On the other hand, for general purpose and non-contaminated environment, reusable gowns are supposed to be used. However, these gowns should be clean and washed after use.

Face and eye protective gears:

PPE used in hospitals include goggles that protect eyes. Goggles fit closely over the eyes and prevent germs from going into the eyes. For a higher level of protection, face shields cover the face fully to prevent infected secretions from going into eyes, nose or mouth.

Face shield is used when facial skin is also supposed to be protected in addition to nose, mouth and eyes. It covers the whole face from forehead to below the chin wrapping the sides of the face. A face shield along with N95 respirator mask provides full protection to the wearer.

Related: Where to buy N95 face mask online