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Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is very easy to spread. Therefore, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is highly recommended to help control and prevent Corona virus infection. It is important that PPE is used by people who frequently meet COVID-19 patients, such as medical personnel
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a set of equipment that functions to protect users from certain he alth hazards or disorders, such as bacterial infection or the corona virus that causes COVID-19.
When used properly and according to standards, PPE is able to prevent the entry of viruses or bacteria into the body through the mouth, nose, eyes, or skin.
Criteria in Choosing PPE
The selection of PPE to prevent Corona virus infection cannot be done arbitrarily. The ideal PPE to prevent and protect the body from exposure to the Corona virus must have certain criteria, including:
- Able to protect the body from sprinkling of phlegm containing the Corona virus
- Not easy to damage
- Light and does not restrict movement or cause discomfort
- Easy to clean
Types of PPE
The following are several types of PPE that are generally used by medical personnel in handling probable cases, suspected cases, and confirmed cases, which means that a person has been declared positive for COVID-19:
The type of mask commonly used by medical personnel as PPE in handling COVID-19 patients is the N95 mask.
This mask is made of polypropylene material which is able to filter almost 95% of small particles and can cover the nose and mouth tightly.
Meanwhile, people who are not medical personnel are advised to use surgical masks that consist of 3 layers and are standardized to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
2. Eye protection
Eye protection is made of plastic and serves to prevent the entry of viruses into the body through the eyes. This protective equipment must fit snugly to cover the eye area, and not easily fog up or interfere with vision.
3. Face shield
Similar to eye protection, face shields are also made of transparent plastic. This type of PPE can cover the entire face area, from the forehead to the chin.
Together with masks and eye protection, face shields are able to protect the face area from splashing saliva or phlegm when a COVID-19 patient coughs or sneezes.
4. Medical gown
Medical gowns are used to protect the arms and body areas of medical personnel. Based on their use, there are two types of medical gowns, namely disposable gowns and reusable gowns.
Disposable dresses are made of synthetic fiber materials, such as polypropylene, polyester, and polyethylene combined with plastic. Meanwhile, reusable dresses are made of cotton or polyester, or a combination of both. This dress can be reused after cleaning up to 75 times, as long as the dress is not torn or damaged.
Medical gowns also need to be equipped with an apron or apron to cover the outside of the gown. The apron is generally made of plastic that is resistant to disinfectants.
5. Medical gloves
Medical gloves are used to protect the hands of medical workers from the patient's body fluids while treating COVID-19 patients. These gloves are ideally not easy to tear, safe to use, and the size fits the hand.
Gloves that meet COVID-19 handling standards must be made of latex or rubber, polyvynil chloride (PVC), nitrile, and polyurethane.
Head cover serves to protect the heads and hair of medical staff from splashing saliva or phlegm from patients while they are treating or examining patients. The headgear must be made of a material that can hold fluids, does not tear easily, and is the right size for the head. This type of PPE is generally disposable.
7. Shoe protector
Shoe protectors are used to protect the feet of medical staff from exposure to body fluids of COVID-19 patients. Shoe protectors are generally made of cloth or spun bond material which is waterproof and must cover the entire shoe.
What is the Procedure for Handling Used PPE?
After use, PPE must be put in a special plastic bag and packaged separately. The following are some things that need to be considered in handling used PPE:
- Do not put used PPE carelessly, either on the floor or other surface objects, such as tables, chairs, or lockers
- Do not disassemble used PPE that has been packaged in special plastic
- Do not fill the plastic bag specifically for used PPE too full
- Immediately clean yourself after using PPE
Not only for medical personnel, PPE also needs to be used by cleaners who clean the treatment rooms and isolation rooms for COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
Meanwhile, for ordinary people, the only PPE that needs to be used is a mask. However, the public can use masks and gloves when caring for or wanting to clean the house when a family member is infected with the Corona virus.
In addition to wearing a mask, to protect yourself from COVID-19, you also need to implement physical distancing, wash your hands regularly, and keep your immune system strong.
If you have questions about COVID-19, both symptoms and preventive measures, don't hesitate to chat with doctors directly on the ALODOKTER application. You can also make an appointment with a doctor at the hospital through this application.