PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AND ITS RATIONAL USE COVID-19 Context (SARS-CoV-2)
Personal Protective Equipment: COVID- 19 Pandemic (SARS-CoV-2)
It is well known and publicly known that we are facing a pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), with impacts that may never have been imagined, and that affects all world economies at the same time, and go beyond the field of public health.
The ideal way to prevent the transmission of microorganisms in a health organization, is to use a combination of interventions not only aimed at the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Intervention actions must also combine isolation, visitation restrictions, correct hand washing, among other measures.
Hand hygiene practice is essential to prevent and control the spread of microorganisms. Health professionals, patients and visitors must be properly educated about the importance of their practice and monitored for its implementation. Routine hand washing before and after using PPE is a fundamental practice to maintain safety.
All professionals should be instructed on how to put on, use and remove all recommended PPE.
One should not circulate through the health service using PPE. These must be removed immediately after leaving the room, ward or isolation area.
Wearing masks when not indicated can generate unnecessary costs and create a false sense of security, which can lead to neglect of other safety measures, such as hand hygiene.
Recommendations for personal protective equipment, according to the type of environment, target person and type of activity:
COVID-19 Context (SARS-CoV-2)
Table 1 presents the PPE recommendations to be used for the prevention and control of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) according to a publication by the Ministry of Health.
RATIONAL USE OF PPE – COVID-19 Context (SARS-CoV-2)
The health services that act in the direct confrontation of the pandemic by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) have faced difficulties in the purchase and availability of equipment intended for the individual protection of their teams. The guidelines provided here do not represent an innovation or a contradiction to the “Technical Bulletins” or “Good Practices” for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), they only act as a recommendation so that the unnecessary use of this equipment is reduced and contingency is established in the in case of shortage of any of the recommended PPE, at this moment of serious threat to public health.
Table 2 shows some contingency measures that can be taken during the crisis caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in case of shortage of PPE. To define the moment when contingency measures are used, in this table the terms Normal Capacity (PPE stocks within the expected range, the measures consist of providing assistance to the patient without any change in daily practices) and the COVID-19 Crisis (stock of PPE below expectations, the measures used are not always in accordance with the recommended good practices, but need to be performed due to the scarcity of resources and the system’s inability to limit the user’s access to the health service).
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- Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings (2007) – CDC. Acesso em 26, março de 2020.
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