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How to Improvise PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an Emergency

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Doctor’s offices and hospitals aren’t the only ones running out of personal protective equipment. Members of the disability community who rely on home health also use PPE. Here are some ideas if you run out of supplies.

1) Use garbage bags with holes cut out for the head as a disposable, one use gown. It can be worn like a cape and thrown out at the end of the visit.

2) If you have a washing machine, purchase a few pairs of scrubs and request workers to immediately change upon arrival. Wash immediately when the visit is over.

3) Purchase or sew a homemade mask, cut up a t-shirt, or use a bandana. This won’t give adequate protection against COVID-19, but the CDC says bandanas are better than nothing to help reduce any spread of the virus through coughs/droplets from a caregiver to the client. If the caregiver has a cough they should not be working.

4) Substitute washable cleaning gloves for medical gloves. In addition to washing them inside and out, spray them with a solution of bleach and water (10-12 parts water to 1 part bleach). 

5)  Before wearing gloves, require aides to thoroughly scrub their hands (including finger tips, under nails, and the tops of hands and wrists) immediately upon entry, and have each worker wipe down all surfaces that were touched before hand washing. If no wipes are available, use hot water (with antibacterial dish soap) to wipe down surfaces.  If they have to use towels, wash them after each use.  


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CCDC’s employees and/or volunteers are NOT acting as your attorney. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a signed retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys.

Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. www.ccdconline.org DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

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