Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 03, 2022

Why PPE Is Essential in Treating Covid-19 Patients

Personal protective equipment (PPE) has become commonplace, with the most recognizable PPE being the facemask. Face shields and gloves were also used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the earlier days of the pandemic, but they have since fallen out of favor, with masks still the most important PPE in the public. But in healthcare, PPE is still a critical part of the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and there are several reasons why this is.

Protecting Healthcare Workers

Health workers have been at the frontline of fighting the COVID-19 for about two years now, and they remain an integral part of the pandemic response. Because they care for and treat infected patients, they face the highest risk of infection. PPE provides a barrier between them and the virus and is essential in ensuring they continue providing the care and treatments they do.

Health workers worry and are unable to do their jobs when there is an inadequate supply of PPE. This is why stakeholders are urging the health workers and other stakeholders to rethink how they think about PPE.

Instead of using disposable PPE, there is a push for the introduction of disposable PPE in cases where there is a shortage, or the PPE might be prohibitively expensive. Some healthcare institutions are already using reusable and dependable isolation gowns, gloves and other PPE to lower costs and reduce the impact of reduced supplies.

Preventing Reinfection

While the primary reason health workers wear PPE is to protect themselves, PPE like face masks has also been shown to reduce the risk of reinfection. Health workers who have contracted COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic are in situations where they can reinfect their patients, some of whom may no longer have COVID but are still susceptible to reinfection. By wearing PPE, these healthcare workers prevent the transmission of the virus to their patients, causing infections and putting even more strain on fragile healthcare systems.

Protecting the Public

A health worker's responsibility to protect the public does not end at the hospital doors. They must also be cognizant of the fact that they are also meant to protect the larger public. One infected nurse or healthcare worker can start a cluster of infections that can spiral out of control. The best way to prevent this is to ensure health workers do not contract COVID-19. Wearing PPE and using it the right way remains the best way to do so.

Continuation of Essential Health Services

PPE helps reduce the rate of infection among healthcare workers. Healthcare workers who are infected cannot continue to work, which causes the risk of some healthcare services being affected or discontinued altogether due to the reduced number of workers.

By having access to PPE, healthcare workers remain healthy, their numbers remain up, and essential services like flu shots, immunization, and services that impact mothers and babies can continue uninterrupted.

Personal protective equipment is essential in protecting healthcare workers, but it remains an integral part of healthcare provision in many communities. It also helps with keeping infections down in the general population.

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