Personal protective equipment (PPE) in a pandemic : approaches to PPE preservation for South African healthcare facilities
CITATION: Le Roux, C. & Dramowski, A. 2020. Personal protective equipment (PPE) in a pandemic : approaches to PPE preservation for South African healthcare facilities. South African Medical Journal 2020;110(6), doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i6.14831.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is key to protecting healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection, but the pandemic has disrupted supply chains globally and necessitated rapid review of the scientific evidence for PPE re-use. In South Africa, where the COVID-19 epidemic is still developing, healthcare facilities have a short window of opportunity to improve PPE supply chains, train staff on prudent PPE use, and devise plans to track and manage the inevitable increases in PPE demand. This article discusses the available PPE preservation strategies and addresses the issue of decontamination and re-use of N95 respirators as a last-resort strategy for critical shortages during the pandemic.