Does PPE Prevent COVID-19?
Recent studies have shown that the use of adequate personal protective equipment and training for healthcare professionals is essential to prevent COVID-19 infection.
Even though frontline healthcare practitioners are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, there is plenty of evidence that shows that those who were appropriately protected did not get infected with the virus. Some of them even develop protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2.
Primary-care professionals must understand how to use the PPE correctly to stop the spread of the disease.
PPE has become very popular during this pandemic not only by consumers but also by healthcare providers. However, personal protective equipment encircles many different kinds of products. So, it is essential to explain what items are considered to be PPE.
What Is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
In simple words, PPE products protect people from different hazards such as physical, chemical, or biological. For them to be effective, it is vital to use them correctly. When you protect the body from these threats, you can then prevent illness or injury.
Personal protection equipment must meet specific performance standards from respectable organizations such as FDA, CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
PPE includes clothing and equipment that protects the eyes, face, hands, arms, head, feet, legs, body, and hearing. Some of the most common examples include:
- Face masks and shields
- Goggles and eye protection
- Shoe protection
- Hard hats
- Earplugs and protective hearing
- Full body haphazard suits
As you can see, PPE is vital to control the spread of COVID-19. It is crucial to understand that personal protective equipment is effective; it should be used properly. You have to remember that these items act as a shield between the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the skin, mouth, eyes, and nose.
People who are at high risk of exposure to this or any virus should use PPE. It is a wise idea to use this equipment in conjunction with other infection control practices like hand washing, hand sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol, physical distancing, and covering coughs and sneezes.
Can PPE Minimize The Spread Of COVID-19?
PPE can minimize the spread of COVID-19 from one person to another.
The most common types of PPE are face covers and respirators. When physical distancing is not an option, people should wear face masks, including facial cloth coverings, to control the spread of COVID-19.
When you wear a face cover, you protect those around you from possible respiratory droplets through talking, coughing, or sneezing.
Different Types Of Masks
There are different types of masks: respirators, disposable face masks, and cloth face coverings.
Respirators should be used mostly for healthcare professionals. They are manufactured to filter small particles to provide the most protection.
Disposable face masks are also known as surgical masks, and they work by creating a shield to stop splashes, sprays, and large droplets from entering the mouth and nose. It is critical to understand that the barrier level depends on the mask’s material composition and design.
This type of mask helps prevent the user from transferring respiratory droplets to other people.
Ultimately, cloth face coverings are used to stop the user’s respiratory droplet from being spread. This means that you can help control the spread of the disease by wearing this type of mask.
Which mask you wear will depend on your lifestyle and health issues. It is essential to avoid using respirators as they are intended for primary-care workers. Choose a cover that has at least two layers.
Please note that the use of face shields without wearing a face cover is not recommended.
If you are still unsure whether or not to wear PPE, let us emphasize that these items can prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus when used correctly.
It is a massive relief that healthcare professionals on the front line and exposed themselves to the virus have adequate equipment.
Please keep in mind that too much PPE can be more hazardous than beneficial. For instance, using multiple wearing masks can result in cross-contamination.
Finally, remember that you can do your part by keeping social distancing, wearing face masks, and handwashing and sanitizing.