The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has recently passed the 1 million mark and is still steadily climbing. This is creating a difficult situation throughout the country as more businesses shut down and people are instructed to remain self-quarantined in their homes as much as possible. Although these are both very big challenges that people are needing to deal with on a daily basis, there is an even bigger challenge that is causing this problem to become worse every day.
The country, as well as many other parts of the world, is currently undergoing a massive shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). This is creating a very dangerous situation where citizens and healthcare professionals are being put in harm’s way as they attempt to help others or do essential activities like grocery shopping without having the proper PPE gear to help prevent them from catching this extremely contagious virus from other people.
Luckily, there are several online medical suppliers who have stepped up during this time of need in order to help ensure that there is a steady stream of medical supplies going to the people who need it most. If you are interested in finding out how you can procure your own PPE from an online medical supply store, then keep reading to discover how to do this.
What Is Classified as PPE?
Let’s first go over exactly what PPE is and why it is such an important part of staying healthy. While there is no definitive list of what items are and are not considered PPE gear, the general consensus is that anything that serves the purpose of creating a barrier between your skin, nose, mouth, or eyes and external contaminants is regarded as PPE. While high-quality PPE equipment should be able to protect you from nearly any harmful contaminants, it is often specifically designed to provide protection from viral and bacterial infections.
Some of the most common examples of PPE gear will include things like medical masks, gloves, respirators, gowns, eye protection, and even closed-toe work shoes or shoe covers. Any of the medical supplies used in an official healthcare setting are going to be subjected to government regulation but the majority of private-use PPE is not going to be under the same level of scrutinization. However, if it is provided by a reputable medical supply store, then it should be made to meet the same quality expectations as the items found in hospitals.
The extent to which this equipment is needed is going to vary depending on the specific situation at hand. For example, someone who is trying to treat an individual with the common cold will likely only need a mask and maybe some gloves in order to have sufficient protection. However, this is going to be significantly different for someone who is around someone with coronavirus or ebola.
Since these diseases are so highly contagious and are able to continue living on surfaces like clothing for at least several hours, the particles from these diseases need to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, it is going to require the individuals within close proximity to wear enough PPE to essentially cover them from head to toe.
How to Properly Use PPE During This Coronavirus Pandemic
This COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced in modern history, which means that there are not many places or professionals who are prepared for something of this magnitude. Therefore, a lot of people are trying to figure out how to handle their PPE needs as they go rather than being able to follow a detailed PPE contingency plan. This makes it more likely that PPE equipment shortages will occur and mistakes will be made by both healthcare professionals and visiting civilians alike.
However, the only way that we can effectively suppress this ongoing pandemic is through the proper use of PPE medical supplies on a mass basis. To help achieve this, it is important to go over the various situations where PPE is going to be needed during this pandemic.
There are some individuals who are under the impression that they do not need any sort of PPE since they are not directly caring for or interacting with anyone who has been confirmed to have coronavirus. However, as has already been discovered, COVID-19 is highly contagious even before any symptoms appear. Therefore, it is entirely possible that you might interact with someone who is contagious without even realizing it. That is why more and more cities are declaring orders that citizens should be wearing masks whenever they go outside.
While full PPE gear is not going to be necessary for leaving the house to grocery shop, it is highly recommended that each person is at least equipped with a cloth mask to help significantly lower the chances of becoming infected. But when someone is working in a healthcare facility in any capacity, they should be almost entirely covered in PPE for the entire time that they are inside of the facility. This is because there is still going to be a high likelihood of infection even if someone is never directly interacting with coronavirus patients.
Multiple studies have been done that demonstrate that COVID-19 is capable of surviving on a wide variety of surfaces for long periods of time. For example, it can remain on cardboard for up to 24 hours, stainless steel and plastic for up to three days, and on copper for up to four hours. It can even remain suspended in the air for as much as three hours in some cases. So although the most recent infected person had passed through the area over an hour ago, it could very likely not be safe to interact with the area without the proper protection.
How to Deal With a Limited PPE Supply
Another issue that many institutions are running into right now regarding PPE is the fact that they are going through it much faster than they are able to replenish their stores. The recommended solution to this issue is finding other online suppliers to provide the medical supplies that you need when your traditional supplier does not have enough.
However, something else that can be implemented is the practice of reusing some PPE gear or continuing to wear it slightly longer than it is normally worn. The reason why PPE is replaced so often is that it quickly becomes contaminated when in an area with a lot of exposure to COVID-19, which makes it ineffective at keeping out the disease. But if a facility is struggling to get enough PPE equipment, then this can be a way to help slow down the rate at which they go through their current supply.
If necessary, medical masks can usually be worn until they become moist or become slightly difficult to breathe through. And once it is removed for any reason, it should then be disposed of so as not to risk having germs enter the inside of the mask. The same standards should be used for the eye protection used by the facility employees.
But you can also help to cut down on the number of masks and eye protection needed by instead switching to a full face mask, which will help perform the duty of both items. Plus, these items can usually be decontaminated when they become dirty rather than having to throw them out, which means that they can recycle through their supply of face shields rather than having to order a whole new batch of them.
When it comes to gowns, they can remain in use until they become at all visibly soiled or have been removed, at which point they will need to be replaced. By following these emergency procedures, you can help to reduce the amount of PPE gear you go through on a weekly basis, which will help preserve the limited supply that is currently available
What Medical Supplies You Can Get Online
As previously mentioned, a lot of healthcare facilities and civilians are turning towards various online suppliers in order to get everything that they can no longer get through their traditional suppliers. The variety of PPE equipment that you can find online is truly astonishing.
For example, our site provides you with a wide range of respirators and disposable face masks, thermometers, hand sanitizers, hand wipes, medical gloves, protective eyewear, protective wear, custom cloth masks, antibacterial products, and even more PPE essentials. And with our 24-hour rush availability on select products, we can provide you with some of the best American-made PPE equipment available in an incredibly short amount of time while also maintaining competitive pricing.
If you are someone who is looking for some high-quality PPE gear to help protect them from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, then we’re to help. Make sure to check out our website to get your pick of some of the best customizable medical supplies on the market.