• Matt Brown

What is PPE?

PPE means Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a protective clothing & allied accessories like face masks, medical gloves, medical gowns, helmets, goggles, or other medical or non-medical equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection. 

It is widely used as the first attempt to protect against Covid19 Pandemic since December 2019. PPE means 'personal protective equipment', and therefore has emphasis on the world "personal", because it cannot be shared.

The reason why it is called "personal" is because it is not shared with others and therefore, the personal protective equipment is used by an individual to protect herself from injury or infection.

Why are they called "protective"?

They are protective because they create a barrier between the person and the germs and sometimes virus that can harm humans. PPE thus becomes an essential part of protection and creating barrier between the person and infection causing germs or virus.

What are different types of PPE Items?

There are different types of PPE Items, some of them are:-

  1. PPE Gloves: Protect your hands when touching or holding items that are dirty, infected (e.g. in hospitals) or need to be saved from any potential dirt or infection (e.g. in food industry). Gloves becomes one of the most important PPE product and come in different qualities and materials that are recognised by FDA and EU Standards. Some of key types of gloves are Nitrile Gloves and Latex Gloves.

  2. PPE Gowns: Gowns often worn over clothes are used to create a barrier between the germ environment or infection potential environment (e.g. hospital) and the person. Gowns can keep you clean and away from infection causing germs, virus etc. that can come from body fluids of patients or already infected people. This comes in blue colour mostly and is classified as Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 type of Gowns by FDA and EU Standards.

  3. PPE Goggles: Protect eyes from infection by wearing transparent PPE goggles. This is widely used during emergency situation and during operation by medical healthcare workers. PPE Goggles is mandatory in some Operation theatres to avoid any type of infection that can cause from body fluids from infected patient.

  4. PPE Masks: Masks are commonly used as PPE Item, by healthcare workers, frontline healthcare staff and doctors. Mask is also used by people to protect themselves against virus, germs and other non-organic health affecting pollutants. Masks have become mandatory in many areas of the cities worldwide after Covid19 Pandemic. In some countries people are being fined for not wearing masks in public area.

  5. There are many other PPE Items, like respirators, face shields, shoe covers, leggings, head caps, coveralls and many other type of PPE.

PPE is also used outside hospitals or anywhere where individual person needs protection. The workers in factories, china engineers in the work environment, scientists in labs, labourers who are construction workers are few of many examples where different types of PPE items are used.

Sterile PPE items are usually used only in hospitals during operation or other medical situations like emergencies or OPD etc.

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