- Antiseptics contain microorganisms which are effective to deter the development of bacteria, fungi and viruses. These can be applied on the skin outside the body.
- Disinfectants are stronger than antiseptics and kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. They are used for hards surfaces, floors and countertops and are very effective in keeping them free from COVID-19.
- Antibacterials can also be applied on skin on the outside of the body. It is important to understand that they are active against bacteria, not viruses. This chemical agent is commonly found in soaps and alcohol sprays.
Using hand sanitiser with 60-95% alcohol effectively reduces the number of pathogens that may be present on your hands after brief interactions with the environment, or other people. Most alcohol-based hand sanitisers are effective at inactivating enveloped viruses, including COVID-19. Hand sanitiser is often a much faster and easier alternative to hand washing, if the facilities are not available, and if used properly, it will kill viruses .
Hand sanitisers containing alcohol should be stored in a cool place, and out of direct sunlight. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are also generally flammable, especially if their alcohol content is high (>60%), so keep the sanitiser away from open flames.
While in previous normal circumstances overusing hand sanitisers was not recommended, this is not the case during a pandemic. In this situation the importance of keeping hands constantly clean to avoid getting sick and spreading the virus is crucial!
Hand sanitiser only lasts for a few minutes, and therefore it is important to apply it frequently!
Here at TRC Health & Hygiene, we help ensure our medical devices (such as PPE) are safe and effective by reviewing the FDA’s release form, “Quality Systems Regulations and Good Manufacturing Practices.” Our manufacturers are expected to use and follow these practices and regulations to help maintain consistent high quality of our products, and to guide our performance testing to make sure that our products conform to the recognised consensus standards.
Most PPE is designed to be used only one time, and only by the same person prior to it’s disposal. If your PPE comes into contact, or is exposed to any infectious materials during its use such as any bodily fluids from an infected person, it must be removed by the wearer promptly, as it would then be considered contaminated.
A surgical mask should always be worn by healthcare personnel, such as Dental health care doctors, and inpatient doctors. A surgical mask should cover both their mouth and nose during procedures that are most likely to generate sprays or splashes of bodily fluids, as well as while manually cleaning instruments. Not only this, but a surgical mask also protects the patients from microorganisms that are generated by the wearer.
When coughing or sneezing, you are expected to sneeze or cough into your elbow, or the crook of your arm. It is also recommended that once you’ve done this, you clean and wash your hands straight away, as droplets might have landed on your wrists or hands.
We recommend first washing or sanitising your hands before putting it on. Ensure that your mask goes all the way up to the bridge of your nose, and falls comfortably all the way down under your chin. Make sure the loops or ties are sitting comfortably over your ears so it’s snug around your face. Once wearing your mask, avoid touching the parts of the mask that cover your nose and mouth. To remove, use the ear loops to take your mask off, and don’t forget to wash and sanitise your hands after touching!
Most PPE is designed to only be used once, and by the same person, so we highly discourage the use of sharing in this situation. However, if you use cloth face coverings, they are perfectly fine to reuse between separate people, AS LONG as they are washed in between uses. By not doing this, you are at greater risk of cross-contaminating, and sharing unwanted germs.
To properly apply hand sanitiser, we recommend using a decent amount of liquid, and then rubbing it all over your hands, making sure to get in between your fingers, on the back of your hands, and over your wrists. Do not rinse or wipe off the hand sanitiser before it has dried. If there is any excess hand sanitiser left on your hands, the best thing to do is just continue to rub it in until it has dried.