Washington, DC, January 28, 2020 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today launched MedPPE, a mobile application that provides detailed information on the personal protective equipment that health personnel should use to guard against COVID-19, depending on their role and workplace.
MedPPE emphasizes the role and timing of health workers jobs and offers specific information to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines are aimed at all personnel working in health facilities, including security guards, administrative and cleaning personnel, transfer assistants, nurses, biomedical and imaging technicians, surgeons, and physicians, among others.
Health personnel are one of the population groups most affected by the new coronavirus, and the Americas reports the highest number of COVID-19 infections in health workers in the world. As of December 1, 2020, at least 1 million health professionals had developed COVID-19 in 30 territories/countries of the Americas, and more than 4,000 had died. The correct use of PPE remains key to preventing infection and spread of the virus in hospital settings and to protecting essential workers in the response to the pandemic.
MedPPE provides guidance for the use of PPE according to workers’ function, the level of care they provide, and the multiple environments of primary health care and hospitals. The tool also clarifies the type of PPE needed when performing aerosol-generating procedures and other activities related to the care of patients infected or suspected of being infected with COVID-19.
However, use of PPE alone is not enough to protect against COVID-19. Hand hygiene and proper PPE dressing and undressing procedures must also be followed, along with the proper disposal and management of waste.
MedPPE is available in Spanish, English, Portuguese and French for iOS and Android devices.