Pandemic Flu Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Overview

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Pandemic Flu  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Overview Powered By Docstoc
					  Section 8
  Section 8
Personal Protective
Ref - Department of Health Guidance 2005 with respect to Influenza


Within social care services, as in normal circumstances, selection of PPE must
be based on an assessment of the risk of transmission of micro organisms to
the service user (or patient), and the risk of contamination of a care worker’s
clothing and skin by the service user’s blood or other body fluids, secretions or
excretions. In any circumstance, care in the correct donning and removal of
PPE is essential to avoid inadvertent contamination.

PPE should be worn to protect staff and thus reduce the transmission of
pandemic influenza between service users and staff and from one service
user to another. Appropriate PPE for care of service users during a pandemic
influenza is summarised below.


Advice on the donning and removal of PPE during a ‘flu pandemic from
Health Protection Agency, East Midlands South already exists; but as yet it has
not been through the formal, DoH consultation and approval procedures.
However, the final guidance is not expected to differ in essence from the
guidelines set out here.

Essentially, during a pandemic, PPE should not differ greatly from existing
practice in the case of a severe undiagnosed respiratory disease and
Standard Infection Control Procedures and Respiratory Etiquette should be
adopted - all contaminated clothing must be removed before leaving a
patient care area. Disposable surgical masks being removed last.

Within healthcare settings PPE is expected to consist of items such as
disposable plastic aprons and gloves and, where appropriate, face masks,
eye protection and respirators. Fluid repellent surgical masks can reduce the
risk of influenza transmission and eye protection may be deemed necessary
when the types of care being given could result in contamination with sputum
or mucus from the nose or mouth of a ‘flu sufferer.

Current advice is that staff who are caring for ‘flu sufferers should don face
masks when undertaking close, personal care tasks and nursing care.
Although nursing care rarely takes place within social care units, in the event
of ‘flu pandemic care staff may be nursing service users who cannot be
hospitalised. During an influenza pandemic it is predicted /anticipated that
residential homes for elderly persons are likely to be undertaking some limited
nursing care because of an anticipated shortage of hospital beds.

A surgical face mask (FFP3 filter standard) to prevent aerosol contamination,
should be worn by healthcare workers for close patient contact (e.g. within 3
feet) this will provide a physical barrier and minimise contamination of facial
mucosa by large droplet particles, one of the principal ways influenza is

Consideration should be given to asking service users who are coughing to
wear a mask while care is being provided, if they can tolerate one. If not,
they should use disposable single-use tissues to cover their mouth when

NB - The CCDC’s current advice is that, unless staff have close contact with a
service user who has respiratory symptoms, face masks are not considered an
essential or vital PPE. Their main function is primarily to remind staff not to
touch their faces and mouth and noses. The ‘flu virus is unlikely to be caught
by inhalation of the general atmosphere, but rather by inhalation of the large
droplets from a cough or sneeze.

Most surgical masks should be (FFP3 filter standard) but will still become
saturated and wet within 12 minutes of use.
Surgical face masks should:-
           cover both nose and mouth and not be allowed to dangle
              around the neck after use
           not be touched once put on
           be changed once they become moist
           be worn only once and discarded in an appropriate receptacle
              as clinical waste
           hand hygiene must be performed after disposal is complete

It is essential that masks are removed and disposed of between patients. If
masks are not to become hazardous in themselves they must be removed
and disposed of very carefully - in the same way that dressings and tissues
should be.


If glove supplies become limited during a pandemic priorities for glove use
may need to be established. In this circumstance gloves should always be
worn as a priority for contact e.g. with blood and bloody fluids, invasive
procedures and contact with sterile sites.

Gowns are not required for routine care of patients with influenza - disposable
plastic aprons are sufficient but must only be used a single use items – for one
procedure or episode of patient care.


Respirators are unlikely to be used except in hospital settings. However, if they
are deemed necessary by a health care professional then every user should
be fit tested and trained in the use of the respirator, as fit is critical.

Advice for smaller social care units such as community homes, hospices,
hostels and respite units is likely to be based on that given to domestic
situations. It is expected that masks will only be required if close personal care
or nursing takes place at the unit.

Day centres, nurseries, schools and children and family centres are likely to be
closed if insufficient staff members are well enough to attend, but in any
event staff should not have to nurse service users as anyone with symptoms
should be sent home and masks are unlikely to be necessary.

Home care staff should use masks when visiting sick service users as they
could transfer the illness from the service user to themselves and /or others on
their travels – but again the masks must be changed between service users
and care must be taken not to touch the wet mask surface.


All staff (and relatives) should use personal protective equipment for care of
residents with pandemic influenza

                   Entry to ‘flu       Close resident       Aerosol
                   areas but no        contact (< 3 feet)   generating
                   resident contact                         procedures b & c
Hand hygiene                                              
Gloves             d                   +e                  
Plastic apron      d                                       -
Gown               -                   f&g                  +g
Surgical mask                                             -
FFP3 respirator    -                   -                    
Eye protection     -                   Risk assessment      

a.    Standard Infection Control Principles apply at all times.
b.    Examples of aerosol-generating procedures include intubations,
      nasopharyngeal aspiration, tracheotomy care, chest physiotherapy,
      bronchoscopy, and nebulizer.
c.    Wherever possible, aerosol-generating procedures should be
      performed in single rooms with minimal staff present.
d.   Gloves and aprons should be worn during certain cleaning procedures,
     consult housekeeping guidelines in H&S and housekeeping manuals.
e.   Gloves should be worn in accordance with Standard Infection Control
     Principles. If glove supplies become limited, this recommendation may
     need to be relaxed. Glove use should be prioritised always for contact
     with blood and bodily fluids, invasive procedures and contact with
     sterile sites.
f.   Consider in place of apron if extensive soiling of clothing or contact of
     skin with blood and other bodily fluids is anticipated.
g.   If non-fluid repellent gowns are used a plastic apron should be worn

Jun Wang Jun Wang Dr
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