Infectious Disease Society of America issues guidelines for PPE use

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The Infectious Disease Society of America issued eight guidelines for healthcare workers using PPE when working with COVID-19 patients. 

The guidelines, published Nov. 17 in Clinical Infectious Diseases, are evidence-based recommendations from a multidisciplinary panel on PPE usage in conventional, contingency and crisis settings. 

Recommendations are labeled as "strong" or “conditional," as indicated by the usage of "recommend" and "suggest" respectively. The panel acknowledged knowledge gaps in instances of insufficient evidence and made no recommendation.

Eight guidelines: 

1. The panel recommends healthcare personnel use either a medical/surgical mask or respirator compared with no mask.

2. The panel suggests healthcare personnel use eye protection compared with no eye protection.

3. No recommendation was made for the use of double gloves versus single gloves.

4. No recommendation was made for the use of shoe covers versus no shoe covers.

5. The panel recommends healthcare personnel involved with aerosol-generating procedures use a respirator instead of a medical/surgical mask.

6. During contingency or crisis capacity settings, the panel suggests healthcare personnel involved with aerosol-generating procedures use a reprocessed N95 respirator for reuse instead of medical/surgical masks.

7. During contingency or crisis settings, the panel recommends healthcare personnel add a face shield or medical/surgical mask as a cover for the N95 respirator to allow for extended use. 

8. During contingency or crisis settings, the panel suggests healthcare personnel add a face shield or medical/surgical mask as a cover for the N95 respirator to allow for reuse.

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