Additional personal protective equipment?

stan51

Putting on skis
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Jun 26, 2017
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Missoula, MT
I patrol at one of the ski areas that has not yet closed due to Coronavirus. We have a less than a dozen known cases in the entire state, and just three known cases in our county. We primary draw from the local population; we are definitely not a destination resort. Nevertheless, we are still concerned about the potential transmission of coronavirus when treating patients on the mountain.

We are normally dealing with trauma, not medical conditions, so our patients are typically healthy individuals. Nevertheless, I am wondering whether we should ramp up our use of PPE beyond the usual- gloves. I pulled a couple of N-95 masks out of my shop and put them in my pack, but haven't used them yet.

I have to admit that I am fairly cavalier about gloves when I am second on the scene, when there is no blood, and am mostly preparing the toboggan and only ever touching the patient's outerwear to help load them. However, I am having some qualms about this.

What are the practices elsewhere?
 

CalG

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We developed a "special protocol".

We ask the patient if they have symptoms of cough ,fever AND a recent possibility of exposure.
If so, we call for a mask for them!
After that is clarified, we practice our normal BSI procedures for any infection.

That lasted one day, then the mountain closed. The special protocol remained Un needed.
 
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Carolinacub

Yes thats a Cubs hat I'm wearing
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Asheville NC
Well since were closed I'm heading to the mountain on Saturday to make sure the patrol room was closed properly and (cough cough) confiscate some masks
 

wooglin

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New Hampshire
Those masks are in short supply in hospitals which are the front lines in all this. If there are stashes in patrol huts, that might be a good place to send them. Our local hospital is asking for volunteers to SEW masks.
 

Carolinacub

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Asheville NC
Well before I get lambasted for being cavalier about this and for snatching much needed supplies understand that the way I made my comment was tongue in cheek and an attempt to put a little humor in the situation. The masks that we are liberating are going to people in high risk categories. ie: older folks with underlying issues etc. They are not I repeat not going to be hoarded at the house.
 

firebanex

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Apr 16, 2018
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Fairbanks, Alaska
For the two days that my area was open during the start of cases in my town, we did a refresher on the importance of always using BSI, found all the additional things beyond gloves and cleaning supplies in our aid room and was as ready as we could be. Once we closed, I took the open gallon bottle of hand sanitize to my work place as pretty much everyones work place got shut down. I figure that by November I should be able to replace that bottle for the patrol. I've already got my own boxes of gloves and a couple of N95 masks at home left over from various projects.

The short of it is, use your BSI, wash your hands, clean common surfaces, dispose of any used material properly. You could also talk to your patrol leadership and division medical director for additional guidance.
 

oldschoolskier

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Dec 6, 2015
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Ontario Canada
Take this serious and a wake up call. Minimize the risk. Don’t be a statistic.

As a first responder you are doing your job for peoples safety and you should be proud, however, I am disgusted that your resort doesn’t care about the well being of its employees and its customers by staying open.

First rule of emergency management is:

Take care of self first, take care of family second. Without that you are useless to everyone else.
 
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