Importance Of PPE Kits In The Ongoing Pandemic
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is defining the global healthcare crisis of our time and it is the greatest challenge we have faced since World War II. Infecting around 12 million people across 216 countries, COVID-19 has put us in a dwelling paradigm. The loss of human life and economic meltdowns are pushing our societies towards unprecedented directions. With the virus of different DNA's being identified regularly, COVID-19 is likely to stay around for another 15-18 months before a suitable vaccine or herd immunity can become a reality.
We all have an equal role to play in flattening the curve. Personal protection Equipment (PPE) is a way of bringing back normalcy to our lives and yet doing our bit of helping control the spread.
What Are PPE Kits?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits consist of specialized clothing or equipment like masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, etc., which are to be worn by people for protection against infectious materials. We have all seen healthcare workers use PPE when treating patients exposed to infectious diseases and during surgeries and operations. However, in the current scenario, healthcare workers aren't the only ones who need PPE. We, the general people need it just as much!
Why We Need PPE Kits
Socially distancing ourselves from others has become extremely important in order to protect ourselves from the spread of the virus. Steps as simple as wearing a mask and gloves when stepping out for groceries and essentials would contribute greatly to flattening the curve of COVID-19 infections. India is slowly being unlocked. Workplaces, shops, restaurants and malls are still slowly springing back to life in multiple states across the country. With this, the number of person-to-person interactions has increased tremendously, as has the risk of exposure. Hence, the use of PPEs has become even more crucial for the safety and well-being of the people.
Human beings are social creatures. We long for connections and communication and sharing our emotions and stories. Staying apart for so long is unnatural for us
For instance, when travelling to work via public trans-port, one is easily susceptible to getting infected. Hence, it is imperative to wear a mask and a pair of gloves to stay protected from potential carriers. As per the reports released by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), there are a lot of asymptomatic cases in India, increasing the possibility of uninformed virus carriers. We interact with so many people every day; the waiter taking our order at a restaurant, the delivery person bringing us our packages, or the shop-keeper who hands over our groceries. How can we socially distance ourselves from all of them? In such circumstances, it becomes all the more important to invest in washable PPE kits. While being protective, kits are cost-effective as well.
Human beings are social creatures. We long for connections and communication and sharing our emotions and stories. Staying apart for so long is unnatural for us. So, in times like these, when you do go out for meeting your friends and loved ones, make sure you use all the protective equipment that you can get. If you stay safe, you protect yourself and others. Wear a good mask, keep your distance, avoid touching your face and sanitize your hands often.
The Healthcare Industry
Our frontline warriors- doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are constantly interacting with patients require about 8-10 PPE kits a day on average to treat patients and follow up on them. Healthcare professionals require kits that are made from lighter materials while being equally non-penetrable, if not more, as they need to wear protective equipment for long hours throughout the day.
A recent study published in The British Medical Journal found that despite being at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, healthcare professionals who wore appropriate protective equipment did not contract the infection. With an increasing number of infections each day, the healthcare industry is in dire need of PPE kits, and steps must be taken to ensure that there is enough supply to meet the high demand in the current scenario.
Things To Keep In Mind
When buying a mask, one must consider its Bacterial Filtration Efficiency or BFE. Presently, N95 masks have the highest BFE at 95%. If you cannot acquire one, get a medical mask instead. While not as effective, something is always better than nothing.
Buy enough masks, gloves and sanitizers so they last for a good while. Masks should only be used and reused until the time they maintain their structural and functional integrity. If there are spaces between the edges of the mask and your skin, it's time to get a new one. If worn properly, they can help prevent the spread of the virus by trapping droplets when you cough or sneeze. Wear gloves when you head out, wash your hands often and invest in an alcohol-based sanitizer, and disinfect your mobile phones as much as you can.
While no PPE kits are 100% effective, they can keep us and those around us safe, provided we follow social distancing and wash/sanitize our hands regularly. As much as we hate it, the coronavirus isn't going away any time soon. Remember, PPE kits are an investment rather than an expense. They are an effective weapon in combating the virus. We must all practise social distancing, wear a mask, wash our hands regularly and play our parts in fighting against the pandemic.