PPE & Safety Recommendations.
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding sterilization, safety, and personal protective equipment requirements changes as a result of this pandemic. That said, we want to give those of you who are still seeing emergency patients some direction and recommendations. Please note that these are simply recommendations and do not constitute any official policy. Please reference the CDC, ADA, and other organizations as official policies are established.
- Firstly, the CDC has a great webpage that outlines their recommendations for a dental setting and it can be found in the chat window and will be in the recap email: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/dental-settings.html
- Screening Patients:
- Call all patients before their scheduled appointments and screen for symptoms of respiratory illness over the phone (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
- If the patient reports signs or symptoms of fever or respiratory illness direct them to a DHCP and medical providers should work together to determine the appropriate facility for emergency treatment.
- Virtual Waiting Room: Consider having the patient check-in and wait in their car until you are ready for them.
- Personal Protective Equipment: Currently, there is no definitive PPE policy for emergency treatment during this pandemic. That said, we can recommend PPE based on health systems’ policies for aerosolized treatment of COVID-19 patients. Therefore, we recommend that following PPE items to protect you, your team, and patients.
- Currently, N95 masks are almost impossible to procure currently due to the government redirecting production and inventory to the medical facilities, that said – KN95 Mask
- Isolation Gowns
- Face shield Kit
- Shoe Covers
Even at the steep prices today, these only cost approximately $8-12/patient.
- Between Appointment Cleaning:
- Clean, disinfect, or discard the surface, supplies, or equipment located within 6 feet of patients
- Use registered disinfectants with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims to clean surrounding surfaces, chair, floor, tools, etc. For a list of approved disinfectants, please go to https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2 which can be found in the chat window and will be in the recap.
- Sterilization: You may have seen on the news that there is a large shortage of N95 masks and that they can be sterilized and reused. Currently, this is only being done in reprocessing facilities, but we are watching it closely to see if it can be done using the sterilizer in your practice.
- Air Filtration Systems: This was mentioned on the first call and we do not expect these to become a standard, but Air filtration units, more than ever, are going to be important devices for dental offices to have; they help keep you, your team and patients safe from airborne pathogens. There a few systems in the market that help kill the COVID-19 virus. Midway has partnered with WellAir and their Novaerus system and you should have received an email with the information this morning, but we will also add it to the recap. The price ranges from $1,300 – 10,500 depending on the unit and size of your practice. Please send me an email if you need additional information or are interested in the system.