5 Requirements You Should Know When Choosing Ebola Coveralls
If you are treating Ebola patients, you need to protect your team and yourself. One of the best options is disposable protective clothing. Ebola coveralls offer several layers of protection from blood and blood-borne pathogens. What should you look for in apparel for Ebola coveralls? Let’s look at 5 factors you should look for in disposable clothing.
- Check the Fabric for ASTM F1670 and F1671
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets safety standards for protective clothing. For Ebola coveralls, you want to ensure that both the fabric and the seams pass testing for the appropriate standard. The standard of protection from blood and blood-pathogens needed depends on who you are treating. Let’s first look at the safety standards for fabric.
The level of protection you need depends on if you are working with wet patients or dry patients. A wet patient has confirmed Ebola or a high consequence of infectious disease (HCID) or persons under investigation (PUI) with bleeding, vomiting, or diarrhea. Wet patients require the highest level of protection from blood and blood-pathogens.
Dry patients are clinically stable without bleeding, vomiting, or diarrhea. In many cases, dry patients are under evaluation for Ebola or other HDIC. Treating dry patients calls for a high level of protection, but not as high as wet patients.
The fabric used to make Ebola coveralls should pass ASTM F1670 and F1671 standards testing whether you are working with wet patients or dry patients.
- Check the Seams for ASTM Standards
The seams make a difference in protection levels. For dry Ebola patients, the seams need to be taped, but the seams themselves do not need to pass ASTM F1670 and F1671 standards. If you are working with wet patients, however, the seems must pass both ASTM F1670 and F1671 standards for blood and blood-pathogens. The seams for wet patients need to be sealed, not just taped.
- Look for Disposable Garments
Disposable protective suits protect cross-contamination and protect personal clothing from contamination. Disposable garments are less expensive at purchase, and you will not have to pay for cleaning after use. Some disposable protection wear is lighter and more comfortable to wear, but this varies by manufacturer.
Disposable Ebola protection suits are more comfortable to put on and take off. This is an essential factor when your team is tired or rushed. A more straightforward process limits the opportunities for mistakes. Disposable protective coveralls make the donning and duffing process easier.
You also have the option to combine reusable and disposable items. For example, you might wear reusable coveralls, but disposable boot covers, hoods, or other items.
- Consider extra safety features
Manufacturers add safety features to disposable Ebola suits to increase the level of protection. Thumb and finger loops keep sleeves from riding up. Keep gloves where they should be double-sided tape around the wrist band. Look for collars that seal off your neck with Velcro. Each feature makes your day a little safer.
- Consider extra features that make working easier or more comfortable
Additional features like large zipper pulls aren’t essential, but they make the donning and doffing protocols easier. Look for size and style labels that are easy to read. Velcro or tape starters make closing or tightening faster and less frustrating when you wear gloves.