Protecting Our People & Patients
Vanch (Procedure/Surgical) Mask Concerns|Continuous Masking and Eye Protection|PPE Basics|COVID-19 |n95 Recycling Project|Specific Practice Locations/Situations Recommendations |Patient or Visitor PPE information|Offers of Help
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 & Use of Eye Protection
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, AHS has a continuous masking directive in place, as well as a requirement for staff who provide patient care that occurs within two metres (2 m) to wear eye protection.
Continuous masking is a requirement in accordance with the Directive: Use of Masks During COVID-19. This continuous masking strategy is in addition to use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of droplet and contact precautions. These guidelines will help you in your appropriate use of continuous masking.
Continuous Eye Protection
Healthcare workers are required to wear eye protection continuously if they are involved in patient care that occurs within two metres (2 m) as well as indirect patient care such as meal delivery and housekeeping. This additional layer of protection should be applied as part of their standard PPE when engaging in patient interactions. Find more information in the PPE FAQ.
Logistics and Contracting, Procurement & Supply Management (CPSM) are working to ensure all facilities/sites have the required supplies for full implementation of both of these strategies. We each have a role to play in protecting each other – our patients, staff, physicians and volunteers. We must all be diligent in modelling safe work practices.
IPC measures are based on currently available scientific evidence and guidelines and are subject to review and change as new information becomes available.
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:
Specific Practice Locations/Situations Recommendations
Patient or Visitor PPE information
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.
Aerosol-Generating Medical Procedure Guidance Tool
This list of Aerosol-Generating Medical Procedures (AGMPs) is based on current evidence. This list is subject to an ongoing review process, and will be updated accordingly. Please continue to revisit this list, as guidance may evolve.
PPE Question of the Week
PPE Tip of The Day
The daily series - PPE Tip of the Day – features quick and simple reminders you can take forward into your practice, from shift to shift. If you have any questions about the tips, or suggestions for new tips, please email email@example.com.
For any questions or further information about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Alberta, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.