Medical PPE: what kind of PPE is used in hospitals?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) protects employees in many sectors. But what about PPE in the health sector?
- What is PPE?
- What are the dangers and risks in the health sector?
- Why choose disposable PPE?
- How to choose and manage PPE?
- What kind of PPE is used in hospitals?
What is PPE?
PPE means Personal Protective Equipment.
It is an equipment that is used to protect its user against health and safety dangers.
What are the dangers and risks in the health sector?
The wearing of PPE by a health professional can serve to protect him or her from the transmission of biological agents (bacteria, viruses, etc.), whether through contact with the skin or mucous membranes, by inhalation, ingestion or injection.
It can also be used when there is a risk of splashing blood or body fluids, when giving care to patients, when there is a risk of contamination, etc.
PPE protects health professionals from contact with body fluids that may contain infectious agents. In this way, the health and safety of hospital staff, patients and visitors is protected.
Why choose disposable PPE?
Have you ever heard that you can get sick in hospital? Perhaps you know someone who has already been ill in hospital? This is called cross-contamination. Contamination spreads from one room to another, from one patient to another.
Disposable PPE helps to limit this cross-contamination. It is single-use and discarded after the first use. There is no contact with other people. No risk of transmission.
Washable PPE comes into contact with many people, allowing contamination to spread. Even disinfectant may not completely eliminate all bacteria.
The use of disposable PPE can also have an economic advantage. This is because they require no maintenance and no cleaning, and the labour that goes with it.
How to choose and manage PPE?
The following steps are necessary for the choice, use and management of PPE:
- Risk analysis: What are the dangers? Who is exposed?
- Prioritise: What PPE is required in proportion to the risk involved?
- Supplier and order: What are the prices? Is it still in stock? What are the delivery times?
- Staff awareness: Are personnel well aware of the risks? Are they trained in the use of PPE? Do they use the protective equipment provided?
- Availability: Is the PPE available and accessible to the personnel?
What kind of PPE is used in hospitals?
Gloves are a standard equipment in the hospital environment. They serve as a barrier against contact with blood, mucous membranes, body fluids, infections, dirt, aggressive products,…
It is also a widely used PPE because gloves must be changed between each patient and each activity.
Nitrile, vinyl or latex gloves: choose according to your needs in terms of sensitivity to touch, resistance, comfort, latex allergy, etc.
Choosing the right gloves also starts with choosing the right sizes. Gloves that are too small can tear, gloves that are too large allow germs to pass through.
The antifog faceshield is transparent and splash-proof, protects the entire face and eyes from droplets.
From the type 1B coverall which offers the most complete protection to the type 6B coverall.
Depending on your choice, it protects you from dust, liquid sprays, chemical splashes,…
Type I surgical masks offer 95% bacterial filtration and are effective against droplets.
Type II surgical masks provide 98% bacterial filtration and are effective against droplets.
Type IIR surgical masks offer 95% bacterial filtration, are effective against droplets and are splash resistant.
There are also anti-fog masks.
Disposable gowns, medical gowns, sterile gowns,… They offer protection against the penetration of wet bacteria, solid particles and contaminated liquids. They are comfortable and breathable.