Delhi govt okays guidelines for rational use of PPE
New Delhi: The Delhi government has approved the guidelines to ensure rational use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. The decision of the government was taken amid hue and cry over scarcity of PPE for medical staff as they are also getting infected. According to the order issued by the government, it said, "All healthcare facilities operating in the national Capital to follow guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 15 for rational use of PPE in accordance with the risk involved."
As per the guidelines, hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries, clinics and COVID care centres will be differentiated into in-patient ward and out-patient wards into low, moderate, mild and high-risk categories. As far as in-patients departments in non-COVID-19 hospitals are concerned, it has designated ward or individual rooms used for clinical management activity as mild-risk areas, while the ICU or critical care, labour room and operation theatres have been categorised as moderate-risk areas. It has also recommended wearing of triple-layer medical mask and latex examination gloves inwards.
Premises where emergency cases are to be attended, come in the mild risk category and areas in the emergency department, where severely ill patients are being attended to while performing aerosol-generating procedures, have been marked in the high risk category. Laboratories which are used for sample collection, transportation and testing of routine (non-respiratory) samples come under the mild-risk category, while labs where respiratory samples are collected and tested fall in the moderate-risk category, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines further said that Radiodiagnosis and blood bank among others fall in the mild-risk category, while kitchen areas have been marked in the low-risk category. Ambulances transporting patients not on any assisted ventilation and driving areas come under the low-risk category, while emergency vehicles carrying patients with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) come under the high-risk category.
It has also been advised to use N-95 mask, goggles, latex examination gloves and face shield. "Chambers of dental or ENT doctors or ophthalmology doctors and pre-anesthetic check-up clinics have been categorised as moderate-risk areas where the usage of have been advised. Use of triple-layer medical mask and latex
examination gloves has been made besides following social distancing guidelines and frequent use of hand sanitiser over gloves in the mild risk category areas," it said.
Help desk or registration counter, doctors' chamber used for clinical management of patients, sanitary staff and pharmacy counters among others have been marked in the mild-risk category, it said, adding that, use of triple-layer medical mask, face shield
(wherever feasible), sterile latex gloves and goggles has been recommended.
"The screening area or help desk and registration counter and temperature recording station for the OPD; doctors's chamber used for clinical management of patients, sanitary staff and pharmacy counters among others have been marked in the moderate-risk category. It also advised people to always follow the laid down protocol for disposing off PPE as detailed in infection prevention and control guidelines. Patients should also wear masks in labor rooms," it further added.