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Recommendations Made for PPE Use by HCPs in COVID-19 Care

Guidelines address mask, glove, face shield use in conventional, contingency, crisis capacity settings

medical face shield

MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, recommendations are presented for personal protective equipment (PPE) use by health care providers (HCP) in caring for suspected or known COVID-19 patients.

John B. Lynch, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues developed evidence-based rapid guidelines intended to support HCP in their decisions about infection prevention when caring for suspected or known COVID-19 patients.

The guideline panel agreed on eight recommendations. HCP caring for patients with suspected or known COVID-19 should use a surgical mask or N95 (or N99) respirator or powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) as part of appropriate PPE in conventional settings. In contingency or crisis capacity settings, use of a surgical mask or a reprocessed respirator is preferred to no mask. No recommendation is made for use of double versus single gloves for health care PPE in conventional, contingency, or crisis capacity settings; in addition, no recommendation is made for use of shoe covers versus no shoe covers. HCP involved in aerosol-generating procedures should use an N95 (or N99) respirator or PAPR instead of a surgical mask as part of appropriate PPE in conventional settings; in contingency or crisis capacity settings, a reprocessed N95 respirator should be used for reuse instead of surgical masks. HCP involved with aerosol-generating procedures should add a face shield or surgical mask as cover for the N95 respirator to allow for extended use or reuse as part of appropriate PPE during contingency or crisis settings.

"There remain significant gaps in the understanding of the transmission dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and PPE recommendations may need to be modified in response to new evidence," the authors write.

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