Undressing from PPE

Undressing from the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) after COVID duty is the most dangerous phase. Many dry runs should be practiced and potential pitfalls identified and corrected. The goal is to take zero viral load.

Basic Principles:

  • Sterile and non-sterile paths should be separate and not intersect (i.e the pathway from dressing room to the ICU is sterile. The path from the ICU to the wash room is unsterile. Both paths should not intersect)
  • Non-sterile surface of PPE should never come in contact with the body surface during removal

With the help of an assistant spray alcohol or sanitiser on PPE and allow to dry for 10 minutes before undressing from PPE. Breath fresh air during drying and keep away from breathing the alcohol or sanitiser fumes.

Undressing should be in a negative pressure, sterile room UV sterilised room, or the open air in sunlight.

No exposed surface of the PPE should come in contact with the body. This is something we are not used and extreme caution should be exercised. Dry runs will help master this part. Drop PPE in an airtight container. The headgrear should be the penultimate object to remove and the gloves the last object. Put on new slippers. Wash gloves inbetween undressing from each gear.

Immediately rush to the bathroom which should have separate in and out doors. Discard all clothing to an airtight container and have a hot water shower. Wash everything including the slippers. Walk out of the bathroom through the sterile exit door into the change room. Redress.

Absolute solitary confinement during undressing from PPE. No crowding or assistance from any helping hand. After each personnel has removed PPE the whole area including the bathroom must be mopped and cleaned by a cleaner also in PPE. Only afterwards should the next personnel enter.

The PPE should be sent for autoclave and either recycled or reused as deemed.