The pandemic brought changes. One of the most notable changes was the boost of the medical equipment business. Sales of PPE clothing specifically shot up as a result of the virus, given that they were the only way to prevent infection with the use of masks and face shields becoming widespread.
Today the protective clothing market is valued at an impressive USD 10.32 billion. This resulted from the soaring demand for PPE with the onset of the pandemic. However, only a few know that PPE consists of more than just masks, gowns and face shields.
So here is an appropriate breakdown of the components of a PPE kit.
Gloves must be used when interacting directly with potentially infectious items or contaminated surfaces. They are made from various materials, including vinyl, latex, and nitrile. When gloves become visibly dirty, ripped, or punctured, they must be replaced.
It does not, however, replace hand washing. As a result, handwashing is recommended after removing gloves.
Gowns are used by healthcare personnel and lab workers when garments have a chance of being contaminated with potentially infectious substances. A gown should shield the torso, fit snugly to the body, and reach the wrists.
Gowns also have diverse characteristics. They are detailed below.
- Clean and sterile.
- Disposable or reusable ones that must be washed
- Fluid-resistant and non-fluid-resistant materials
Masks are by far the most widely used PPE equipment. They protect individuals from inhaling infected aerosols and spreading aerosols in case a virus has infected them. They cover the mouth and the nose and help significantly in limiting transmission.
A respirator is a protective hood or helmet that filters sub-micron aerosols to decrease the wearer’s exposure to airborne contaminants. Before inhaling, respirators filter the air. Respirators come in a variety of styles. Some of them include the following:
- Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
- N95 – Disposable Respirators
- N99 – Disposable Particulate Respirators
- Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Respirators
5. Face shields and goggles
Goggles provide a protective barrier for the eyes and should fit snugly over and around prescription lenses. Goggles protect the eyes from splatters, but a face shield protects the face, eyes, mouth, and nose from aerosol sprays.
One can use face shields instead of goggles with an N95 respirator to offer eye and facial protection. They should, however, cover the forehead, reach below the chin, and wrap all around the side of the face.
6. Shoe covers and head covers
Shoe covers protect against potential airborne organism exposure or interaction with a polluted environment. When aerosols or airborne exposure is expected, head coverings or bonnets shield the hair and scalp from potential contamination.
These are generally optional in a PPE clothing kit. Nevertheless, they are quite important. Shoe covers and bonnets are more popularly used in food production units.
Every space that requires PPE clothing has different types of kits comprising different materials. However, a basic PPE kit will contain at least a few components stated in this article. A basic mask and eye protection like goggles or a face shield, shoe and head covers, gowns and gloves. In addition, certain medical institutions may also use respirators for extra protection.
PPE are a vital part of the medical industry. They provide heightened protection making it possible to conduct specific procedures. So for anyone looking to build a PPE kit, this will serve as the perfect list.