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    5 considerations for personal protective equipment

    Wearing personal protective equipment is crucial, but if you’re not using it correctly, you could be doing more harm than good.

     

    Cross-contamination

    Cross-contamination

    Even if one is properly wearing his or her PPE, cross-contamination is still a risk and mindfulness is essential.

    “Once you have your PPE on, areas for cross-contamination still exist,” Dr. Fluent explains. “For instance, if you have an itch on your nose or on your ear and you have to touch those areas with gloved hands, you’ve entered an area for risk of cross-contamination. So, once you are completely donned with PPE, know that. Don’t touch any potentially contaminated or infected surfaces.”

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    She suggests other tips to avoid cross-contamination such as:

    • Keep gloved hands away from the face.

    • Avoid adjusting or touching other PPE.

    • Change gloves if they become torn.

    • Perform hand hygiene before putting on new gloves.

    • Limit the surfaces and other contaminated items that are touched.

    • Always remove PPE when leaving the patient care area.

    • Never reuse single-use PPE such as masks and gloves.

    “In other words, gloves can’t be cleaned and reused for the next patient,” Dr. Fluent says. “You can’t put your mask in your pocket and reuse it for your next patient. They are single- use, disposable items.”

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    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...

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