Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical to the health and safety of all healthcare workers, as well as the patients we care for.
The proper and appropriate use of all PPE is essential to ensuring that we have the supply of PPE that we need, for all providers who need it.
Information and supports on this page will help care providers in using PPE appropriately, and confidently.
Vanch (Procedure/Surgical) Mask Concerns
AHS is responding to concerns about new procedure masks supplied to our frontline. We hear you, and we are acting. Please find more information on the issue, and our response.
AHS is working with the supplier of these masks to ensure that nose piece and fit concerns will be addressed in future shipments; however, in the meantime, here is a tip on fitting the mask over your nose, straight from the frontlines:
AHS Guidelines for Continuous Masking in Healthcare Settings
AHS is implementing a continuous masking strategy, in addition to use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of droplet and contact precautions. Areas that can implement continuous masking immediately should be encouraged to do so. Logistics and Contracting, Procurement & Supply Management (CPSM) will be working to ensure all facilities/sites have the required supplies for full implementation of this strategy on Monday, April 13. As healthcare workers, we understand and appreciate your need to be protected in order to deliver the best care you can. These guidelines will help you in your appropriate use of surgical/procedure masks.
New - n95 Recycling Project
AHS continues to collect used N95 model 1870-plus (3M) respirators from AHS Intensive Care Units in the Calgary and Edmonton Zones, for decontamination, a process of sterilization, and storing.
Additionally, as of the week of May 4th, AHS is now also collecting N95 respirators from all operating rooms, emergency departments and inpatient units in both Calgary and Edmonton Zones, with the plan to expand this approach to all Zones, over the next several weeks.
This is a contingency plan that will allow us to preserve these used N95 respirators for potential reuse, if we require additional supply in the months ahead.
The manufacturer 3M has approved Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) as one of the methods of decontamination, a form of sterilization, for compatible N95 Filtering Facepiece Particulate Respirators. AHS has these sterilizer systems in the medical device reprocessing departments in acute care hospitals throughout Alberta and are utilizing them to support this conservation effort.
At this time, the collected N95 respirators will not be circulated back to our sites.
AHS is proactively collecting this supply of used models, to ensure short and long-term protection of our staff, in the unlikely event that demand exceeds our supply of single-use N95 respirators, in the months ahead.
Appropriate and considered used of our PPE supply continues to be the single most important element to conserving our PPE supply in Alberta. We ask that you continue to use PPE according to guidelines, following your point of care risk assessment. Please help us protect you.
N95 Cleaning Guidelines, Education & FAQ:
Offers of Help
We are extremely grateful that many individuals and companies are interested in donating PPE to AHS. To help us evaluate all offers received, we have created firstname.lastname@example.org.
This email is monitored by AHS staff who respond to each request.
In order to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to patients, staff and donors, we respectfully ask that medical supply donations are not brought to AHS facilities. They cannot be accepted at sites. See more information on Offers of Support.