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For those nurses who are told not to wear PPE (masks) and not to bring private PPE from home: A definitive, must read announcement by The Joint Commission.

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42pines specializes in Occupational Health; Adult ICU.

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For those nurses who are told not to wear PPE (masks) and not to bring private PPE from home: A definitive, must read announcement by The Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission is essentially “God” to hospitals. They outrank (IMO) Federal or State OSHA, CDC and about anyone else (if related to a hospital).

Spoiler:

Yes, you can choose to wear masks, including ones you brought from home, including ones you have made, as often and as long as you damn well care to. (If you can get your higher-ups to comply--if not complain to Joint Commission!)

Interesting bits:

“In settings where facemasks are not available, healthcare personnel (HCP) might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option.”

“The Joint Commission supports allowing staff to bring their own masks or respirators to wear at work when their healthcare organizations cannot provide them with adequate protection commensurate with the risk of infection to which they are exposed by the nature of their work.”

“Based on this information, it is reasonable for staff to want to wear a mask throughout the day. The value of wearing a mask throughout the day will depend upon the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital and the community. However, for staff who are at higher risk because of their age, underlying health conditions, or caretaking obligations for high-risk family member, even a small risk of contracting COVID-19 from an asymptomatic patient may make them want to err on the side of caution. Staff in emergency departments are at particularly high risk because of the high number of patients they see who may be asymptomatic carriers of the virus and the fact that they may have to emergently intubate patients and would be at significant risk without a respirator to protect against aerosolized virus.”

Note: I called NH BON asking about these points many days ago: no answer. Are we surprised?

I suggest that this is a MUST-READ in its entirity.

Link:

https://www.jointcommission.org/-/media/tjc/documents/resources/patient-safety-topics/infection-prevention-and-hai/covid19/public_statement_on_masks_from_home.pdf

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