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What is medical PPE?

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PPE is an acronym for personal protective equipment, and medical PPE is used in medical settings to protect health care workers, patients and visitors from germs and bodily fluids, states MedlinePlus. People use different types of medical PPE based on their risk of exposure to germs or risk of spreading germs.

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Gloves are a type of medical PPE that protect the hands from germs and prevents the spreading of germs from the hands, notes MedlinePlus. Surgical masks cover the mouth and nose and help prevent the spread of germs from the person wearing the mask and protect the wearer from breathing in harmful germs. Respiratory masks prevent the breathing in and spreading of smaller germs such as tuberculosis bacteria by forming a tight seal around the nose and mouth. Eye protection that serves as medical PPE includes face shields and goggles that protect the eyes from blood and other bodily fluids that may enter the mucous membranes.

Gowns, aprons and head and shoe coverings are articles of clothing designated as medical PPE, according to MedlinePlus. This clothing protects doctors and patients from germs and bodily fluids during medical procedures. Medical PPE clothing also protects visitors when patients are suffering from conditions that are easily spread and protects patients who are susceptible to harm from germs. Cytotoxic PPE is special clothing, such as gowns with long sleeves and elastic cuffs, that medical professionals wear when handling certain cancer drugs.

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