1. Introduction to PPE
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is the specialised, disposable clothing or equipment which is worn by health care workers or visitors as protection to reduce the risks of contamination with microorganisms. As well as protecting the wearer, PPE also reduces the contamination of hands and clothing – helping to minimise the spread of potentially harmful infections. This can include the spread of blood borne viruses, respiratory or enteric infections.
PPE is an important measure in the control of cross-transmission of healthcare associated infections.
Disposable gloves, aprons or gowns, goggles or visors and masks or respirators are all types of PPE. Uniforms are not classed as PPE.