Posted: Monday, February 1, 2021. 8:59 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to guarding against infection from COVID-19 among health professionals, but some may not use it properly or go without it at all.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) hopes to correct that with a mobile application known as MedPPE, intended to detail what is needed and how it must be used by all persons working in health facilities – security guards, administrative and cleaning personnel, transfer assistants, nurses, biomedical and imaging technicians, surgeons, and physicians, among others.
The Americas has the highest number of COVID-19 infections among health workers – 1 million as of last December in 30 countries, with more than 4,000 dead. The correct use of PPE remains key to preventing infection and spread of the virus in hospital settings and to protecting essential workers in the response to the pandemic.
MedPPE provides guidance for the use of PPE according to workers’ functions, the level of care they provide, and the multiple environments of primary health care and hospitals. The tool also clarifies the type of PPE needed when performing aerosol-generating procedures and other activities related to the care of patients infected or suspected of being infected with COVID-19.
However, use of PPE alone is not enough to protect against COVID-19. Hand hygiene and proper PPE dressing and undressing procedures must also be followed, along with the proper disposal and management of waste.
MedPPE is available in Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French for iOS and Android devices.
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