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Healthcare - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Use and Disposal Process Template

This process template highlights a standard procedure for use and disposal of PPE.

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Healthcare - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Use and Disposal Process Template

This process template highlights a standard procedure for use and disposal of PPE.

Importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Why wearing PPE is important

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical in the healthcare industry to protect healthcare providers from exposure to infectious agents and hazardous substances. PPE acts as a barrier, reducing the risk of transmitting infections from patients to healthcare providers and vice versa. 

It is particularly important in situations where there's a risk of splash or spray of bodily fluids, handling contaminated surfaces, or exposure to airborne pathogens. Proper use of PPE not only ensures the safety of healthcare professionals but also contributes to overall patient safety by minimizing the risk of healthcare-associated infections.

PPE Procedure

Points to remember

  • PPE should be used based on the risk assessment. It should protect the user from potential exposure to hazards while allowing for comfort and ease of movement.
  • Always perform hand hygiene before donning and after doffing PPE.
  • Care should be taken not to touch or adjust PPE during patient care.
  • All used PPE is potentially contaminated and should be handled appropriately.
  • If PPE becomes torn or heavily contaminated, it should be removed and replaced in a safe manner.
  • If any exposure to bodily fluids occurs during the doffing process, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.

Donning PPE

When donning (putting on) PPE gear, follow this procedure:

  1. Hand Hygiene: Perform hand hygiene using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before touching any PPE.
  2. Gown: Fully cover the torso, fit comfortably over the body, and protect skin and clothing during procedures or activities where contact with bodily fluid, blood, secretion, or excretion is anticipated.
  3. Mask or Respirator: Secure ties or elastic bands at the middle of the head and neck. Fit flexible band to nose bridge, fit snug to face, and below chin. For respirators, perform a seal-check.
  4. Goggles or Face Shield: Place over face and eyes and adjust to fit. If goggles are used, they should fit snugly over and around the eyes or personal glasses.
  5. Gloves: Extend to cover wrist of isolation gown.

Doffing and Disposal of PPE

When doffing (taking off) PPE, follow this procedure:

  1. Gloves: Grasp outside of glove with opposite gloved hand; peel off. Hold removed glove in gloved hand. Slide fingers of ungloved hand under remaining glove at wrist, peel off second glove over first glove, and discard.
  2. Goggles or Face Shield: Grasp ear or head pieces with ungloved hands and lift away from the face.
  3. Gown: Unfasten ties. Peel gown away from neck and shoulder. Turn contaminated outside toward the inside. Fold or roll into a bundle and discard.
  4. Mask or Respirator: Grasp bottom ties or elastics of the mask/respirator, then the ones at the top, and remove without touching the front. Discard.
  5. Hand Hygiene: Perform hand hygiene immediately upon removing all PPE.

Lastly, follow this procedure to dispose of your used PPE:

  1. All disposable PPE should be placed in a designated bin for medical waste or a sealable plastic bag. 
  2. If reusable PPE (like goggles or face shield) is used, it should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer instructions before re-use.

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