The Ultimate Guide to Donning and Doffing PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as, face shields, goggles, gloves, gowns, aprons, Facemasks and many more appliances are used by the healthcare personnel/workers during operative procedures. “Donning” refers to putting on personal protective equipment (PPE) whereas “Doffing” refers to taking off personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Healthcare personnel should be very aware while Donning and Doffing of PPE because a little mistake can spread the infection which can be fatal to the Healthcare personnel. 

Healthcare workers should have a good knowledge and adequate information of droplet, contact and air-borne precautions. They should strictly follow Hand hygiene. 

Let’s discuss how to put on (Don) and take off (Doff) personal protective equipment (PPE) with utmost care.

PPE Kit is a crucial safeguarding gear worn to shield healthcare providers from coronavirus, includes, surgical gown, cap, goggles, shields etc.

Series of steps required to put on (Don) personal protective equipment (PPE) are as follows 

  • Half an hour before the Donning procedure, wash the hands thoroughly with the help of soap or a reliable hand wash.
  •  Take off all jewellery and ornaments before starting this method.
  • Need to wear surgical scrubs. This is an important method, which decreases the risk of contamination by any kind of microorganisms throughout the operative mechanics. It is a good practice to change the Surgical scrubs whenever attending a medical condition. We need to sterilize the Hands before gloving and gowning.
  • After surgical scrub, Don protective mask, N95 respirator mask with the surgical scrub cap over the N95 mask. For eye protection, a surgical mask with a visor to be used. Every piece of equipment needs to be sterilized after treating each case. Face shields (Disposable) could be worn. Surgical safety goggles are also a great choice for eye protection. Some things to take care of are, accurate size of N95 respirator mask should be used by healthcare personnel, Scrub cap worn by the healthcare workers should sheathe the head properly and also cover both ears.
  • Lead apron or vests, drape shields should be included in PPE kit for radiation protection. It decreases a personnel’s radiation aliment. 
  • Scrub hands thoroughly to the elbows with the help of an antibacterial surgical scrub with utmost care. The professional should donned Shoe covers at the beginning of the procedure.
  • Ready to wear protective clothes, gown. Surgical gown to be worn should be disposable. The sleeves of the gown should be long with elastic cuffs that can easily maintain the lock between the surgical theatre and Healthcare personnel’s clothes. These are generally made from water-resistant fabric. Make sure that the top of the gown sheathes as much as of the naked neck area as possible. Ensure that surgical gown sleeves do not go beyond wrists.
  • For double protection, we should wear a two-glove that covers the sleeves of the gown.
  • Here, the Donning (Put on) PPE steps are completed. By doing all these steps, Healthcare workers/personnel can initiate the safe operative procedures that reduces the risk of contamination and spread of virus/infection.

Series of steps required to take off (Doff) Personal protective equipment (PPE) are as follows:

  • Remove gloves carefully with the help of one hand and discard into a waste bin. 
  • Eliminate the shoe covers and exclude them into medical waste bins.
  • Perform hand hygiene after each step of Doffing with alcohol, soap or warm water. Cleaning hands between every step decreases the risk of contamination. 
  • Exclude the visor without touching the exposed area by holding it from the sides and discard it immediately into the bin. 
  • Clean the hands with alcohol. 
  • Remove the surgical gown without touching the exposed area; you can pull away from shoulders and neck, by touching it from inside.
  • Complete the hand hygiene for further process.
  • Remove the scrub cap from the head.
  • Clean the hands with alcohol. 
  • Remove Radiation protection (Lead apron, vests and drape shields) carefully.
  • Complete hand hygiene.
  • Remove the goggles and face shields carefully from the sides of the face.
  • Clean the hands with soap.
  • Eliminate the N95 respirator mask without touching the exposed area and discard immediately into the waste bin.
  • Wash your hands for further process.

Conclusion –

Personal protective equipment (PPE) Donning (putting on) and Doffing (taking off) is a delicate procedure that needs prominent care. As we're dealing with new types of contagious infections every day, it is very important that healthcare professionals are educated in the proper Donning and Doffing of Personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to reduce the contamination and spread of the infections.

Influential utilization of PPE includes, properly removing and terminating of contaminated PPE to prevent exposing both the wearer as well as other people to infection.