With the pandemic that we are currently experiencing, even putting on and taking off personal protective equipment like masks and gloves should be done right to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. Moreover, these tools may not be effective in protecting you if you put them on the wrong way.
Clinicians have been trained in donning and doffing their equipment, but they’re not the only ones who should know this. For all of you using PPE for the first time, here are some guidelines you should follow, as taught by CDC.
Sequence for Putting On Personal Protective Equipment
The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required, such as standard and contact, droplet, or airborne infection isolation precautions. The procedure for putting on and removing PPE should be tailored to the specific type of PPE.
Coronavirus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
Remember to keep your hands away from your face, limit the surfaces you touch, change your gloves when torn, and perform hand hygiene before donning your PPE.
- Fully cover your torso from your neck down to the knees, arms, end of the wrists, and wrap around the back.
- Fasten in back of neck and waist
- Secure the ties or elastic bands at the middle of your head or neck
- Fit flexible band to nose bridge
- Fit snug to face and below the chin
Goggles or Face Shield
- Place over your face and eyes and adjust to fit
- Extend to cover wrist of isolation gown
How to Remove Personal Protective Equipment
There are many ways to safely remove PPE without contaminating your clothing, skin, and your surroundings. If you’re in contact with someone who is diagnosed with Coronavirus, remember to removes all PPE before exiting their room. Remove the PPE in the following sequence.
Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer right after you remove all PPE. It is also advisable to perform hand hygiene between steps.
- The outside of your gloves are always contaminated, so immediately wash your hands after removing your gloves.
- Using a gloved hand, grasp the palm area of the other gloved hand and peel off the first glove
- Hold the removed glove in your gloved and slide the fingers of your ungloved hand under the remaining glove at your wrist and peel off the second glove.
- Immediately discard your gloves in the garbage
Goggles or Face Shield
- If your hands get contaminated during your goggle removal, wash your hands immediately.
- Remove goggles or face shield from the back by lifting headband or earpieces
- DIscard it right away in the garbage.
- Unfasten your gown ties, making sure that your sleeves don’t contact your body when reaching for them.
- Turn your gown inside out
- Fold or roll in a bundle and discard in the garbage.
- Do not touch the front of your mask as it is contaminated
- Grasp the bottom ties or elastics of your mask, then the ones at the top. Remove them without touching the front.
- Discard in the garbage right away.
Hand hygiene is the most crucial thing you can do when donning and doffing your PPE. Also, keep your hands off your face, or else you might still contaminate yourself even after following the procedures. If you’re wearing a mask, don’t touch your mask once you’ve checked it for proper fit.
Consider shaving your face if you have a beard, especially if you’re wearing an N95 mask. N95 masks become less effective when facial hair breaks the seal against the face.
Here’s a visual guide you can follow when putting on and taking off your mask and gloves.