When the face masks are gone, how does care for COVID-19 patients continue? The CDC provides 6 work-arounds to protect HCP.
When a supply of face masks has been depleted and reuse of existing items is no longer feasible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides 6 options as work-arounds including limiting patient contact to healthcare professionals (HCP) who have clinically recovered from COVID-19 and excluding from direct patient contact any HCP who are at higher risk for severe illness.Are homemade masks a viable option? Scroll through the slides below for CDC's guidance.
When no facemasks are available: Exclude HCP at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 from contact with known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
Exclude High-risk HCP. During severe resource limitations, consider excluding HCP who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as those of older age, those with chronic medical conditions, or those who may be pregnant, from caring for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection.
No Face Masks... Designate convalescent HCP for provision of care to known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
Convalsecent HCP. It may be possible to designate HCP who have clinically recovered from COVID-19 to preferentially provide care for additional patients with COVID-19. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infection may have developed some protective immunity, but this has not yet been confirmed.
No Face Masks...Use a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face with no facemask.
Expedient Isolation Rooms. Portable fan devices with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration that are carefully placed can increase the effective air changes per hour of clean air to the patient room, reducing risk to individuals entering the room without respiratory protection.
Expedient Isolation Rooms. The expedient patient isolation room approach involves establishing a high-ventilation-rate, negative pressure, inner isolation zone that sits within a “clean” larger ventilated zone.
Ventilated Headboards. The ventilated headboard can be deployed in combination with HEPA fan/filter units to provide surge isolation capacity within a variety of environments, from traditional patient rooms to triage stations, and emergency medical shelters.
Ventilated Headboards. The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) has developed the ventilated headboard that draws exhaled air from a patient in bed into a HEPA filter, decreasing risk of HCP exposure to patient-generated aerosol. This technology consists of lightweight, sturdy, and adjustable aluminum framing with a retractable plastic canopy.
Homemade Masks. In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (eg, bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown.