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Coronavirus

Information for health care workers is available on healthservice.hse.ie Coronavirus guidance documents are available on hpsc.ie

PPE guidance for staff

PPE update

30 April

Watch as Professor Martin Cormican demonstrates how to put on an FFP2 respirator mask

Watch as Professor Martin Cormican demonstrates how to put on and take off personal protective equipment (15 April)

Video: How to safely put on and take off a medical mask with loops

Guidance on using PPE

Personal protective equipment is valuable as an additional protection for patients and staff. It should only be used where it is likely to be beneficial as outlined in the HSE Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance. It should not be used in other settings where it does not provide any benefit. The unnecessary use of PPE will deplete stocks and increases the risk that essential PPE will not be available to help protect you, your colleagues and patients when needed.

The HSE Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance will be monitored and may change as the coronavirus outbreak evolves.

Airborne precautions are only needed if an aerosol-generating procedure is being performed on a patient with suspected or confirmed coronavirus.

The HSE Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance will be monitored and may change as the coronavirus outbreak evolves

Surgical masks

Use of surgical masks by healthcare workers in the context of viral respiratory tract infection has two objectives:

  1. To reduce the risk of droplet transmission of infection to the wearer.
  2. To reduce the risk of droplet transmission of infection to others.

Use of surgical masks for these purposes is in addition to and is not intended as a replacement for other measures to reduce the risk of transmission of infection. These measures include hand hygiene and maintaining a distance of 2 m between people whenever possible. Surgical masks must be donned correctly and should remain in place covering the nose and mouth throughout the period of use. Masks should not be moved up and down over the nose and mouth.

  • Surgical masks should be worn by healthcare workers when they are providing care to people and are within 2 m of a person, regardless of the COVID-19 status of the person.
  • Surgical masks should be worn by all healthcare workers for all encounters, of 15 minutes or more, with other healthcare workers in the workplace where a distance of 2 m cannot be maintained.

Video: How to put on and take off personal protective equipment

Video: How to put on and take off personal protective equipment in an acute hospital

HSELand Education Modules

Two education modules on putting on and taking off PPE safely are available on HSELand

  • One is for staff in acute settings. Search ‘putting on and taking off PPE in acute healthcare settings’
  • The second is for staff in community settings. Search ‘putting on and taking off PPE in community healthcare settings’.

Complete the module most relevant to your workplace. There is a test at the end of each one. If you get an 80% pass rate, you will receive a certificate for successfully completing the module.

Guidance for healthcare professionals

Read guidance documents from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) including:

  • infection prevention and control guidance for coronavirus
  • advice for GPs on assessment and management of patients with suspected coronavirus infection

Posters, videos and resources

Click here for more official COVID-19 related posters, videos and resources

Page last reviewed: 22/04/2020
Next review due: 22/04/2023