Personal protective equipment is equipment worn to minimize exposure to workplace hazards that can lead to injuries and illnesses. PPE is designed to protect against hazards that can include chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, biological, or other workplace environment threats.
Personal protective equipment for medical purposes includes protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, face masks, respirators, shoe protectors, and any other equipment that is designed to protect the wearer. This equipment is meant to be used in environments such as hospitals, laboratories, doctor offices, on ambulances, and other related settings. Medical PPE should be designed to protect healthcare providers' skin, eyes, nose, and mouth from infectious contaminants, viruses, bacteria, and pathogens as well as bodily fluids.
Healthcare providers and employees that are involved in an environment dealing with COVID-19 require proper identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals, including staff. To reduce the transmission of the virus, providing health staff with N95 respirators (which are separate from surgical masks), hair covers, goggles, fluid-resistant gowns, face masks, and single layer gloves is necessary. The pandemic has caused a shortage of this protective gear in countries around the world including the United States, allowing the virus to spread from health providers to patients and those that come in contact with them more easily.
- FEMA has provided a shipment of PPE to the State of Oregon to distribute among the 36 counties and 9 tribes in Oregon. The shipment included over 1 million gloves,10 thousand face shields, 400 thousand N95 masks, and of 50 thousand masks.
- ISEA is an association comprised of member companies that manufacture and supply PPE equipment. ISEA has partnered with companies such as Brooks Brother and Hanes, as well as the US federal government to help source PPE.
- American Giant is an American clothing brand that holds a coalition of eleven clothing brands and manufacturers including Hanesbrand and Fruit of the Loom. The coalition has agreed to turn manufacturing efforts towards making one million medical-grade, certified masks per week support healthcare workers during COVID-19.
- Apple has designed and manufactured a new plastic face shield to provide an extra layer of protection for healthcare workers. They plan to ship two million masks over the course of two weeks.
- SpaceX is making face shields, hand sanitizer, and ventilators in an effort to help combat COVID-19. They have also began hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross.
- Copper3D has released an open-source STL digital file for 3D printing an N95 respirator with the potential to protect people against COVID-19 with the companies PLACTIVE Material.
- LivaNova looks to remain operational in order to provide cardiovascular products to countries combating COVID-19.
- Prusa Research is a 3D printing company that has provided over 65,000 face shields to medics and healthcare professionals, and looks to continue to manufacture the shields for the Czech Republic.
- BCN3D is a 3D printing company that has provided their 3D printers to design, prototype, and manufacture parts, medical devices, and personal protective equipment pieces.
- Lonati Group is a textile company that is providing personal protective equipment including face shields, face masks, goggles, and other textiles to help combat the pandemic.
- Project Open Air is a project that supports four other projects that are meant to combat COVID-19 in all fronts.
- Covid Health is a company that was launched to combat COVID-19 through means of propagating information a regarding the virus, and collecting and distributing personal protective equipment.
- Laerdal Medical is a company that has provided a resource center for information, medical devices, trainings, and resources regarding the efforts to stop COVID-19.
- Banner University Medical Center Tuscon has provided hand-crafted personal protective equipment including over 5,000 face masks.
- Phoenix Lettering is a clothing company that is assisting in the production of face masks and has donated hundreds of masks in an effort to promote public and healthcare environment health.
- The Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center or FABRIC has moved their focus from fashion and clothing to health and safety by providing face masks.
- Honeywell looks to provide six million N95 masks through 2020 and provide 500 jobs.
- Burgeon Group has designed and has began providing an intubation system that is designed to protect healthcare providers when working with a patient that requires severe breathing assistance. Their "London Box" is a glass box that protects doctors when assisting a patient with connecting to a ventilator.
- Boeing has began production of face shields to assist healthcare providers in the United States. The company is also building a Dreamlifter aircraft to transport emergency supplies to health care providers.
- Image Craft is a printing company that has started manufacturing cloth face masks and face shields to essential worker organizations and businesses.
- Flowfold is a company that is turning their focus from wallets and backpacks to face masks and other related personal protective equipment.
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