May 25

Guide to Understanding the Importance of PPE

May 26, 2020

What are Personal Protective Equipments (PPE)? It has existed long before the Covid-19 but it is only now that we hear so often about it (mainly for those not exposed in healthcare and dealing with heavy machinery). As per definition, it is the equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that may cause serious illness or injuries.

Is it enough just to be able to cover a certain body part and call it as such? Or do we need, at the very least a guide, to consider when trying to protect ourselves? Do most of us even need them? We must have heard news or even experienced personally the difficulty in procuring them because of the shortage. When shortage is at hand, some sellers would definitely take advantage and jack up the prices because of the demand.

After procuring, we need to understand how to properly put it on and take it off. How it fits us is also important. Ill-fitting ones could leave us dangerously exposed and render the PPE useless. Proper care, maintenance, disposal and understanding the limits of each PPE would also be beneficial.

So what are the things to consider to ensure the effectiveness of a PPE? This may not include all but it will be pretty usefull for Covid-19 prevention:

  1. Eye/Face Protection – Only used when there is a risk of splashing secretions, blood, body fluids and excretions. It could be an integrated visor along with a surgical mask; full face shield or visor; polycarbonate safety spectacles or any equivalent. So your regular run to the grocery will not require you to wear one. Regular corrective spectacles are not adequate.
  2. Facemasks (Medical and Surgical Facemasks) – Medical masks reduce the transfer of saliva and respiratory droplets to others; helps block blood and other potentially infectious materials from the skin, mouth or nose of the wearer; may or may not have some level of fluid resistance and do not seal tightly to the wearer’s face; multiple layers of non woven fabric materials that deteriorate with prolonged use that’s why they are often single-used. We have to make sure they fit us just perfectly, not too loose or not to tight. When purchasing the reusable ones, make sure you check the material they are made of and refer to the manufacturer’s guide in cleaning and disinfecting them to ensure their efficacy.
  3. Gloves – There are different type of gloves but here are the ones we encounter the most nowadays:
    1. Sterile – For performing any sterile procedure.
    2. Non-sterile – For situations when there is potential contact with infectious material.
    3. Non-medical – May be used for food handling and some housekeeping procedures.
    4. Utility – Used for manual cleaning of instruments and decontamination with harsh chemicals.

We should be aware of using gloves. Some places do not allow gloves to be worn in their establishment. If you are using the same gloves everywhere you go, you are more likely to spread around germs. It’s still best to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water (hum the “Happy Birthday” song when you are soaping and then again while rinsing to help you determine how long you should be washing). Use alcohol/hand sanitizers when soap and water are not accessible.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so much more precautions to consider but we narrowed it down to the basics just so you have something to refer to in its simplest form. We make sure our laundry partners are well-versed with these information as well. So the next time you look for “laundry shop near me”, “laundry places near me” or “laundry services near me”, just download our app and we will take away the guesswork. You will be assured that Swosh Laundry Partners are knowledgeable of the basic safety standards. We don’t just pickup laundry… we care…Swosh cares.

Related links:
OSHA – Personal protective equipment
WHO – Rational use of PPE for coronavirus disease
CEBM – Efficiency of eye protection equipment
CDC – Emergency considerations PPE
PROFESSIONALS.SITE – PPE do’s and don’ts