Personal protective equipment, better known simply as ‘PPE’, has become critically important in the fight against COVID-19.
Here at Copper Star Home Medical, we’re committed to helping you secure the PPE you need to reduce the risks for yourself and your loved ones. We’re working hard to keep our shelves stocked with must-have COVID-19 supplies including gloves, surgical masks, and face shields.
To help you understand what each piece of PPE is, here’s a quick overview of the various types of personal protective equipment available at our locations all over the Phoenix valley.
Exam gloves are single-use, disposable gloves made from vinyl or latex. Gloves give you a barrier between your skin and surfaces that could be contaminated with bacteria or viruses, including the coronavirus.
Disposable gloves can be a good solution for situations where it’s impossible to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, such as when using a gas pump or shopping for groceries. Exam gloves are particularly valuable for anyone who simply can’t tolerate using hand sanitizer multiple times a day, or for those who have small cracks or cuts on their fingers or hands due to excessive washing or thinning skin.
Since COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, many medical experts recommend wearing face coverings to prevent the spread, even among those who don’t feel ill or aren’t presenting any symptoms. Cloth masks that completely cover the nose and mouth help to keep your respiratory droplets, which may contain coronavirus, contained.
Surgical masks are single-use, FDA-compliant face coverings that are comfortable to wear and easy to breathe through. These masks are made with recyclable, 3-ply material that expands to fit anyone, and the elastic earloops slip on and off without the need for ties or adjustment. These masks are ideal for anyone who needs a face covering to comply with local or state mask orders and those who want to add an extra layer of protection for themselves and those around them.
KN95 masks are disposable, fitted masks made with 3 layers of high-filtration fabric to provide an enhanced level of protection against COVID-19 and other airborne viruses and bacteria. Unlike surgical masks that are relatively loose, KN95 masks are designed to fit snugly against the face, and depending on the environment, these masks can be used over a number of days.
N95 respirators are FDA-approved, medical-grade disposable masks that seal tightly against the face, helping to protect both the wearer and others against airborne viruses. These respirators are designed to be worn for an extended period of time, such as during a shift at a hospital.
Before the emergence of COVID-19, clear, solid face shields were largely used to protect dentists and dental hygienists. Face shields are now widely used either as an alternative to masks or as an extra layer of PPE along with surgical masks, and KN95 or N95 respirators, especially among medical professionals who are working directly with patients who may have COVID-19.
Face shields are light and easy to wear, making them a good option for anyone who is unable to wear a face covering due to breathing problems or sensory issues. While face shields don’t offer the same level of protection against transmitting or contracting COVID-19 as high-quality, medical-grade masks do, face shields do provide some protection in situations where it’s difficult to follow CDC social distancing guidelines. When paired with a KN95 or N95 respirator, a face shield can also help keep the respirator clean, extending the usable life span of the mask.
To learn more about how the right PPE can reduce your risks of contracting COVID-19 or passing it along to family members, friends, and co-workers, contact us at Copper Star Home Medical.