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AVMA Urges Conservation of PPE

AVMA Urges Conservation of PPE
The AVMA is urging veterinary professionals to conserve their personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis. Photo: Lano Lan/shutterstock.com

With PPE in short supply, the AVMA is urging conservation of personal protection equipment (PPE) and asking veterinary practices to consider postponing elective procedures.

Veterinarians can help conserve disposable PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic by “safely” extending the life of such gear, the AVMA advised.

The AVMA noted that “requests have emerged that all medical professionals, including veterinarians, conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) until supplies become more readily available.”

“Postponing elective procedures that require the use of PPE is one way of conserving,” the AVMA added. “Conservation strategies can also include safely extending the use of disposable PPE, reusing disposable PPE or increased use of washable PPE.”

Veterinary teams shouldn’t rule out using expired gowns and surgical masks.

“These products were designed to serve as protective barriers and thus FDA believes they may still offer some protection even when they are used beyond the manufacturer’s designated shelf life or expiration date,” the guidance stated. “The user should visibly inspect the product prior to use and if there are concerns (such as degraded materials or visible tears) the product should be discarded.”

The AVMA adds that gowns may be worn to see multiple patients with the same infectious disease diagnosis or exposure when they are maintained in a common area.

AVMA’s guidelines were released March 20.