Coronavirus: what is the PPE recommended by the NHS? | UK News


The issue of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel treating patients with coronavirus has received considerable attention since the early stages of the global pandemic.

While countries around the world have shown widely varying degrees of preparedness for the ensuing health care emergency, NHS workers on the front lines of the fight in the UK have repeatedly expressed concerns about the shortage of appropriate equipment available to them.

And the controversy was rekindled when Public Health England (PHE) reversed the guidelines that disposable long-sleeved gowns should be worn during treatment. COVID-19 the patients.

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New guidelines have also approved the reuse of single-use equipment on the basis of “a compromise is necessary … in times of extreme scarcity”.

But what PPE does the NHS currently recommend for medical personnel?

Medical staff wearing PPE gloves, goggles, face masks and aprons, wait to test NHS workers for the new COVID-19 coronavirus at a facility managed by Wolverhampton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, installed in a car park in Wolverhampton, central England, on April 07, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent the night in intensive care after being admitted with a deteriorating case of coronavirus, which resulted in serious injuries on Tuesday worries about his health and gove
Medical personnel wearing PPE gloves, safety glasses, face masks and aprons


Official NHS guidelines state that disposable plastic aprons must be worn “when providing direct patient care” and during decontamination.

But the new board says that “disposable water-repellent coveralls or long-sleeved dresses” are no longer required for all procedures involving coronavirus patients, saying only that they should be used when a disposable apron provides “inadequate” coverage.

But while previous recommendations said that full coats should be thrown away after each patient’s treatment, new advice refers to “using only one session under certain circumstances” – allowing them to be worn throughout of a shift provided they are not damaged or soiled.


The advice states that respirators, which are used to prevent inhalation of small airborne particles from coughing and sneezing, should be properly adjusted to cover the nose and mouth and should not be used for more than a shift.

Although the basic standard required for respirators is the “Class 3 filter element” (FFP3), those who do not meet this standard should “be worn with a full face shield if splashes of blood or body fluid are planned ”.

Fluid resistant surgical masks

The masks are expected to meet the same criteria to ensure that they fit the user like respirators. Designed to prevent respiratory droplets from reaching the mouth and nose, they are also intended to be eliminated after each patient or shift.

Doctors still worried about lack of personal protective equipment
Doctors still worried about lack of personal protective equipment

Eye and face protection

The required eye and face protection may include surgical masks with built-in visors, a face shield or full visor, and plastic safety glasses. The guidelines state that normal glasses “are not considered adequate eye protection”.

Disposable gloves

Single use gloves should be worn when providing direct patient care and should be discarded immediately afterwards.


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