Infection control and prevention
Personal protective equipment - Frequently Asked Questions
Infection control principles and practices for local public health
| Policy issues |
PPE | Respiratory
protection | TB
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- What PPE should be used to clean vomitus? How should it be
- Wear gloves to protect hands, and a surgical mask to prevent
ingestion of aerosolized particles that may have been generated
in the contaminated area. Gowns are also recommended if clothing
or skin will come in contact with potentially infectious
- Disposable items used for clean-up and PPE saturated or
dripping with infectious material should be discarded into red
biohazard bags, otherwise items may be placed into the regular
- What PPE is needed when in contact with a known or suspected TB
- A NIOSH certified fit-tested N-95 filtering face piece (FFP)
or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) must be worn by
staff sharing the same air space as a potentially infected
person. Staff persons who have not been fit-tested or have not
received a medical evaluation for the ability to wear a
respirator must NOT have exposure to potentially infectious air.
- What PPE is used if both airborne and contact precautions are
needed, such as for SARS and Avian influenza?
- Use a NIOSH certified fit-tested N-95 filtering face piece or
PAPR, gown, and gloves. These diseases also require use of eye
protection (goggles or face shield) during patient contact.
- When PPE is needed during home visits, when should the PPE be put
- PPE such as gowns, gloves, and surgical masks should be donned
in an entrance of the home where a client is least likely to
have contaminated the area. Clients should be notified in
advance of the visit, if possible, to make sure they are not at
the entrance when local public health agency staff arrives.
- If respiratory protection is needed, however, the N-95
filtering face piece or PAPR must be applied before entering the
home and remains on until outside the home. Fit-check steps
should be performed before entering the home when wearing an
N-95 filtering face piece.
- How often does the employer need to provide training for staff
- Initial training must be done prior to use of PPE, and
thereafter when an employer has reason to believe that an
employee does not have the understanding of use of PPE, or when
there are changes in the workplace or types of PPE rendering
previous training obsolete.
- Who can provide training?
- There are no specific requirements for the person assigned to
provide training. However, it is best to select someone with
knowledge in this area.
- How should PPE be stored?
- Generally PPE should be stored in a dry area at room
temperature, protected from dust and moisture. Check with the
manufacturer for more specific storage conditions. Some items
may have expiration dates and will require rotation of stock to
Gwen Borlaug, Infection Control Epidemiologist
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-267-7711) (Fax 608-261-4976)
August 11, 2014