Audience: This bulletin has been sent to all CALHN staff
Please share the information in this bulletin with those in your team who may not have access to email.
To advise CALHN staff that as a precautionary measure SA Health has proactively recommended that healthcare workers wear full face shields in addition to their existing PPE in settings where there is a high risk of a high velocity blood or fluid strike from a COVID-19 probable or COVID-19 positive patient.
SA Health will update the PPE matrix.
All staff to ensure they follow the below advice regarding the use of face shields in the outlined high risk situations and communicate this information with staff who may not access email.
Personal protective equipment – masks and face shields
As a precautionary measure SA Health has proactively recommended that healthcare workers wear full face shields in addition to their existing PPE in settings where there is a high risk of a high velocity blood or fluid strike from a COVID-19 probable or COVID-19 positive patient.
This recommendation has been made as an interim measure to address any concerns regarding the fluid integrity of surgical face masks or particulate filter respirators or PFRs. Particulate filter respirators or PFRs is the new term for P2/N92/D95 masks.
What does this mean?
In practice this means that healthcare workers in clinical situations or settings involving the care of probable or confirmed COVID-19 patients where there is a high risk of high velocity blood or fluid strike should:
- use a full face shield in addition to protective eye wear (safety glasses or goggles)
- AND the applicable surgical mask or Particulate Filter Respirators (e.g. P2/N92/D95)
These settings include areas caring for probable COVID-19 patients where there is a risk of encountering high volumes or high velocity blood and body fluid strike, such as certain operating rooms, procedural suites, orthopaedic procedures especially where a tourniquet is not used, major trauma, higher risk vascular procedures, trauma rooms, delivery suites and ICU.
Face shields are available through the standard PPE ordering process (QFM or by calling the Spotless helpdesk). An additional 200,000 full face shields are in stock at the SA Health Distribution Centre with extra stock available from South Australian based suppliers.
This information is in addition to the current PPE recommendations as per the SA Health web pages and COVID-19 PPE matrix and infection control recommendations. SA Health are in the process of updating their documents to reflect this.
- SA Health PPE Matrix
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) face shields – a quick guide fact sheet
- ICEG guidelines on the use of face shields and other protective eyewear in health and residential care facilities
- The use of face masks and respirators in the context of COVID-19
- SA Health Infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) advice
You may have seen in the media today commentary around the Detmold masks. SA Health introduced the Detmold D95 masks following rigorous testing and certification in line with international standards at the Nelson Laboratory, which included certification for fluid resistance. The Detmold D95 mask was also accredited by Vic Labs for use as a P2 mask.
SA Health has confirmed that they remain confident in the performance of the Detmold masks as a P2/N95 respirator however as an interim measure and while further testing is conducted have advised healthcare workers to use a face shield in addition to a mask in the above scenarios and settings.
Dr Mike Cusack, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer spoke with the media about this topic at a press conference late this afternoon. You can view the press conference at this link https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3538076696226659
The CALHN Incident Management Team will provide further information as it becomes available by email and via clinical program delivery managers.
CALHN COVID-19 Command Team