Latest PPE Recommendations
PPE Requirements & Screening Guidelines
April 9, 2020
IMPORTANT REMINDER: A cross reference guide to identify alternative sizes or brands of the N95 mask you have been fitted for is now available and below.
Q: Are we reusing N95 masks in patient care areas?
A: Yes, one mask per shift.
A: We have a limited number of masks and with the expected peak at least two weeks away, we must be judicious with our use.
We want you to be safe, and we want you to have enough PPE to get us through this crisis. Please know we are following all CDC guidelines.
We do require that you change out your surgical mask in the high-risk areas, and please cover your N95 to keep it clean.
Q: What about surgical masks? How many can I have per day?
A: We are providing you with one surgical mask per day. If you go into a respiratory isolation room, discard after each use and a get a clean one to wear in common areas. In addition, if the mask becomes soiled, broken or compromised, please replace it with a new surgical mask as you normally would.
Q: What about cloth masks? I have a super cute one my mom made? Can I wear this?
A: Please do not wear a cloth mask in patient care areas.
We talked with our experts, and after visiting with Dr. Suzanne Whitworth, Medical Director, Infectious Diseases, we have a few helpful steps for extending the use of an N95 mask.
Q: What’s the best way to keep my N95 mask clean and the best ways to protect myself?
A: Here are a few steps to put on your N95 mask:
Step 1: Perform hand hygiene.
Step 2: Put on new N95 mask.
Step 3: Cover N95 with a surgical mask when seeing a patient and keep your N95 mask completely covered with the surgical mask. This way, it remains protected, and you stay safe because your N95 mask stays clean. After each patient contact, carefully doff the surgical mask and leave the N95 clean.
When you need to take off your N95 in between patients, for a break, or at the end of your shift:
Step 1: Take off your outer surgical mask.
Step 2: Discard surgical mask.
Step 3: Wash hands or hand gel.
Step 4: Take off clean N95.
Step 5: Put N95 in a brown paper bag.
Step 6: Seal it.
Step 7: At the end of your day or shift, throw away the N95 mask.
This way, your N95 mask remains uncontaminated, and the integrity of the N95 remains intact and you stay safe and protected.
*In our COVID-19 designated areas and patients in isolation, please change out your surgical mask in between every patient.
**For every patient encounter, continue to practice safe handwashing in between every patient.
April 7, 2020
Mask and face covering reminder for all staff across the system: If you received a cloth face covering or mask while at work, please wash it after each shift so you can use it again the next day/shift. Also, if you are bringing your own mask from home, please wash it each day at home and change it out when it becomes soiled, compromised or broken. At this time, we do not have enough handmade cloth masks in-house to provide a new one to each employee each day. You can find all things masks and face-coverings here.
Want to make your own cloth face covering? We created a new video on how you can quickly make your own cloth face covering at home. We will share it tomorrow. In the meantime, CDC has produced this handy guide on how to make a mask.
Clarification about re-use of PPE: We have revised a message point from an earlier email and it is highlighted in yellow below.
Q: Should we be reusing PPE at this time?
A: At this moment, Cook Children's is fortunate to have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Thankfully, we began thoughtfully conserving PPE weeks ago while preparing for the possible arrival of COVID-19 in our community. At this time, we are NOT asking Cook Children's employees to re-use their masks or other types of PPE in any COVID-19 specific units. However, we are currently reusing surgical masks that are NOT soiled or compromised in any way on other units with patients who are not in isolation. We are also making use of reusable cloth gowns in non-COVID-19 areas. In addition, as of this date, Cook Children's employees who treat COVID-19 patients should not be wearing homemade masks.
Q: When I watched the new PPE video I noticed the clinician in the video was reusing PPE. Why was that if we are not doing that currently?
A: The above answer applies here, too. In an effort to educate all staff IN ADVANCE OF THE potential surge of COVID-19 in DFW, we shared that video for demonstration, instructional and educational purposes.
April 6, 2020
Face coverings/mask guidelines for ALL STAFF: Below you will find new information and guidelines* from Infection Prevention & Occupational Health.
As of April 3, 2020, the “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
So, how does this apply to you?
Employees/providers/physicians who have direct patient interaction with any of our patients or their environment should wear a surgical mask at ALL times. This applies to you if you are:
· Providing any direct patient care.
· Performing a job function in a patient room for more than 5 minutes, for example:
NOTE: If the mask becomes soiled, broken or compromised, please replace it with a new surgical mask as you normally would.
o cleaning the room of a patient unless you are on the COVID-19 identified units and then you should follow departmental policy for appropriate PPE;
o delivering a meal into a patient room;
o performing a test or service on any patient (blood draw, BP check, temperature check, procedure, wound change, sonogram, etc.); and/or
o providing any other sort of care or service or interacting in any other way with ANY of our patients and their environments.
If you need additional surgical masks for your area, please follow your normal process for ordering supplies via Central Stores.
Employees who do NOT have interaction with any of our patients or their environment should wear a cloth face covering at all times while you are at a CCHCS location, unless you are in a room/office/work area/cube by yourself and more than 6-feet away from others.
· Employees/physicians/providers are encouraged to bring their own cloth face covering/mask from home.
· Remember that all face coverings should be child-friendly and appropriate for children to see and read.
· If you do not have a face covering or mask, one will be distributed to you later this week.
Additional guidance and recommendations from Infection Prevention:
· For those who wear contact lenses, you may be touching your eyes more often than others and increasing your risk of infection. Please consider changing to full-time use of your eyeglasses instead of contacts.
*These guidelines do not change any practice for patients in isolation for transmissions-based precautions.
* In this ever-evolving situation, all information is subject to change.
In addition, below is an external message we are sharing on our website and our social media channels:
Parents and Families: As we continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC, if you have an appointment at our Dodson clinic, our urgent care centers, or any of our other clinics or primary care offices, please bring and wear your own cloth face covering from home. Learn how to make your own cloth face covering or mask here. Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe.