PPE: Operational Impact, Requirements, and Administrative Costs

  • First responders and first receivers wearing Level C PPE (or higher)
    • Will have more difficulty than usual doing their assigned jobs
    • Will consume more resources than usual to complete their duties
    • Are at increased risk of adverse health outcomes
Operational Impact
  • Decreased dexterity (cumbersome garments and other equipment)
  • Accelerated rates of mental, physical fatigue and overheating/hyperthermia
  • Need for more frequent rest breaks
  • Healthcare providers expected to perform limited decontamination as part of their duties
    • Must receive 8-16 hours of specialized training annually1
    • Must be trained to perform anticipated job duties without endangering themselves or others
  • Staff wearing PPE must
    • Be medically screened and monitored (prior to and during PPE operations)
    • Be properly fit-tested to wear respiratory protective equipment
    • Take part in activity- and weather-dependent rehabilitation and rotation plan
    • Be temporarily excused from regular functions (when responding to incidents)
Administrative Costs
  • PPE procurement, maintenance, and resupply
  • Fit-testing of employees
  • Medical monitoring prior to and during PPE operations
  • Emergency plan development, training, and drills

1Stopford BM, Jevitt L, Ledgerwood M, Singleton C, Stolmack M. Development of Models for Emergency Preparedness, Personal Protective Equipment, Decontamination, Isolation/Quarantine, and Laboratory Capacity (PDF - 4.60 MB) Prepared by SAIC under contract No. 290-00-0023. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Publication No. 05-0099. Rockville, MD, August 2005. (HHS/AHRQ, August 2005)


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