PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is clothing worn to protect oneself from injuries and infections. Different industries use PPEs in their daily operations, construction being the most common. In construction, PPEs mainly work to prevent injuries and accidents.
The medical industry is known for utilizing PPE to prevent the spread of infections. As a medical practitioner or supplier interested in venturing into the medical PPE supply, you might be wondering about the various types of PPE needed in healthcare.
From gloves and masks to gowns and face shields, the list of essential PPEs is extensive. Each type serves a specific purpose and plays an important role in ensuring the safety of healthcare workers and patients. Proper use and disposal of PPE can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and protect the healthcare community.
That said, here’s a list of the essential PPEs in the healthcare setting:
1. Medical Scrubs
Medical scrubs are uniforms medical practitioners wear to prevent contact with bodily fluids from a patient. They come as a shirt and a pair of pants and are mainly used by doctors and nurses on duty.
Medical scrubs come in different colors, designs, and materials. You’ll find cotton, polyester, spandex, blue, pink, or black scrubs with a V-neck, round, or spilt necklines.
It’s advisable to wear comfortable scrubs, even as you consider other aspects like style.
2. Medical Gloves
Medical gloves are PPEs worn over the hand. They’re used to carry out medical examinations and procedures.
Wearing a pair of medical gloves reduces the risk of contamination as you encounter bodily fluids like blood and saliva.
It’s important to note that you should dispose of the gloves after each use to prevent the transfer of germs and contaminants to other patients or on surfaces in the hospital.
The common types of medical gloves are:
- Surgical gloves: They’re used for surgical procedures. It’s highly recommended to use Nitrile surgical gloves; these are puncture resistant and won’t disappoint during surgeries.
- Examination gloves: They’re used for carrying out medical examinations and handling samples.
- Powdered Gloves: These have a thin layer of powder coating inside. The coating assists doctors and nurses in wearing and removing gloves easily. It’s crucial to note that some practitioners might react to the powder; hence, the need to be wary of choice.
- Non-Powdered Gloves: These are ideal for those who react to powdered gloves. Surgeons also prefer these gloves since there’s no risk of contamination from the powder during surgery.
- Chlorinated Gloves: Chlorinated gloves are the preferred option over powdered gloves. They’re easy to put on since they’re treated with chlorine, without powder, that’s known to cause allergies. However, it’s good to note they emit chlorine odor, which can be a nuisance to some.
- Non-Chlorinated Gloves: These are the opposite of chlorinated gloves. They have no chlorine, hence no odor. Instead, they’re coated with Silicone gel for easy wearing. The downside of these gloves is the gel content, which can cause allergies.
Based on the information above, choose medical gloves depending on your intended use and preference.
3. Medical Gown
A medical gown is a piece of clothing worn to prevent and control the possibility of infections. They provide a barrier between the patient and the doctor.
Medical gowns are classified under different groups, depending on the level of infection anticipated. These classifications are:
They’re classified under class 2 medical devices and are ideal for surgical procedures. They’ll prevent splashes from a patient’s bodily fluids and contact with other hazardous materials.
These are under class 1 medical devices and prevent contact with hazardous materials and bodily fluids. The main difference between surgical and non-surgical gowns is that the latter are used in areas and situations with minimal risk of infection.
An overshoe is one worn over a normal shoe. Surgeons in the operating room commonly use them, and they serve two purposes.
Overshoes prevent dirt and germs from the surgeon’s and other practitioners’ shoes from spreading into the operating room. These can affect the patient cut open on the operating table.
On the other hand, overshoes will prevent germs and other infections from the operating room from settling on the surgeon’s and his team’s shoes. The surgeon can contaminate other spaces in the hospital as they walk around.
5. Medical Masks
Medical masks are also referred to as surgical masks. They’re made of non-woven fabric with several layers. The outer layer is fluid-repellant, thick, and often permeable to water. This layer is followed by three layers, which prevent droplets from penetrating and leaving the mask.
These masks prevent the spread of infections through droplets, either by sneezing or coughing. Surgeons also use them during surgical procedures to prevent germs and other patient fluids from getting into the nose or mouth.
As seen, there are various PPEs used in the healthcare industry. From the list given, you’ve seen they all protect various body parts, from the hands to the nose and mouth. You know the PPEs to stock in your facility as a medical practitioner. If you’re a supplier, you know the equipment to invest in and make sales.