What PPE Should College Campuses Provide to Students

Returning back to a college campus is critical in getting students the education they need. But in this new world of Covid, college campuses must take every step in ensuring there students are safe from the spread of Covid-19.

Being stocked up with the proper PPE is critical in creating a safe environment on college campuses. The number one most critical item a student can wear to help stop the spread of Covid-19 on a college campus is the cloth facemask. Some studies have said that the mask can be responsible for reducing the spread of the virus by 90%. The cloth facemask is the best type of facemask college campuses can provide to their students in efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. The cloth facemask is a great item to have because you can wear it over and over again like a piece of clothing that you can wash after a couple uses and continue wearing the same mask. Providing facemasks to students that you can use more than once is critical to making sure every student is equipped with the proper PPE in order to creating a safe environment on a college campus to protect and mitigate the spread of the virus. CAG Federal has the ability to supply an entire college of PPE supplies including most importantly the cloth facemask.

Gloves are also important to have for classes and activities that involve you using your hands and working with others, like for engineers, architects, and pre-med students. Nitrile gloves protect you from any bacteria and infectious germs on surfaces, and are also super durable so you can work on heavy duty stuff and not worry about them ripping.

In order for colleges to be safe, everyone should be required to wear a mask on campus and also wear gloves in certain situations, like in a non-typical classroom where you are moving around and working with your hands a lot. Having the right safety protocols in place with the proper PPE can be the difference between having an outbreak on campus and having to send students home, or successfully having students on campus while mitigating the spread of the virus. Call us today at 877-797-8776 to discuss your current needs, and we will help provide the PPE you need in order to create a safe environment on a college campus.  

Latex vs Nitrile vs Vinyl Gloves

In this new Covid-19 world, a lot of people, companies, and healthcare providers are stocking up on gloves to use while working or running an errand, like going to the grocery store, protect themselves from the virus. There are three types of gloves that people use, latex, nitrile, and vinyl, to protect them selves from Covid-19. In this article I will describe the differences between latex, nitrile, and vinyl and what situation each is used for.  

Latex Gloves:

Why Latex?

  • Fit like a second skin
  • Have a high level of touch sensitivity
  • Are good for wearing for an extended amount of time
  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material
  • Are cost-effective
  • Are lightly powdered, making it easier to put on
  • Are very elastic and strong
  • Are biodegradable

Latex gloves are natural material, made out of rubber. They are the most popular type of glove used in the medical field as they are preferred by healthcare providers, since they provide the best service when it comes to elasticity, comfort and fit. Latex gloves are also considered to offer the best protection against bacteria and viruses. The major reason people decide to not use latex gloves is because many people suffer from latex allergies.  When allergy is not a concern, latex does have a slight advantage with comfort and dexterity over nitrile gloves.

Nitrile Gloves:

Why Nitrile?

  • Latex-free
  • Are most puncture resistant
  • Have a high level of sensitivity
  • Mold to your hand for a great fit
  • Are good for wearing an extended amount of time
  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material
  • Resist many chemicals
  • Have a long shelf life
  • Are available in blue or black to help identify if the glove has been punctured

Nitrile gloves are made out of a synthetic rubber, and are an ideal alternative when latex allergies are of concern. These gloves best resemble the stretchy feel of latex gloves. Nitrile gloves are high end gloves that are highly durable and puncture resistant. Nitrile gloves are often referred to as “medical grade.”  Before gloves can be marketed to hospitals and medical institutions, they must undergo a series of tests conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure their durability. Once approved by the FDA, these gloves are superior when it comes to puncture resistance.

Vinyl Gloves:

Why Vinyl?

  • Latex-free
  • Have a looser fit
  • Are good for short-term, low-risk tasks
  • Are the most economic option
  • Have anti-static properties
  • Are best for use with non-hazardous materials
  • Are lightly powdered to make it easier to put on

Vinyl gloves are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride),  and are usually the cheapest latex-free glove. They are a popular choice for the food industry and situations where high levels of durability and protection are less of a priority. Vinyl gloves are the least expensive option, but they also offer the least protection and durability.

Final Thoughts:

In this new world of Covid, the best type of glove stock up on for your company or organization are nitrile gloves. The reason for this is because many people do have a latex allergy, so if you were to stock up on a certain type of glove for all the people in your company to use, it would be nitrile, to avoid any allergy problems. As far as vinyl gloves, they are great in the food industry and other low risk situations, but not the best when trying to protect yourself from touching infectious germs leading to getting the coronavirus. CAG Federal currently provides its clients with Nitrile Gloves. Please call today at 877-797-8776 to discuss your current needs on all PPE products. 

FDA Approved vs FDA Cleared vs FDA Registered

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government agency in the United States responsible for protecting the public health. The FDA regulates many consumer products, including food, medications, vaccines, medical devices, electronics that emit radiation, cosmetics, veterinary products, and tobacco. Through all the products that the FDA regulates they are divided up into three classes, class I, class II, and class III. The products within these classes are either FDA approved, FDA cleared, and FDA registered. In this post, we will briefly dissect the differences between FDA approved, FDA cleared, and FDA registered.

FDA Registered:

Products that are considered class I medical products, only need to FDA registered. Products that are minimal risk to the user are registered as class I. 47% of medical products fall into class I. Some products that CAG Federal provides to its clients, such as hand sanitizer, and gowns, fall under class I.

FDA Cleared:

FDA cleared items fall into Class II medical products which are devises that pose a medium risk to the user, where about 43% of medical devises fall into this category. CAG federal supplies gowns that can also be cleared by the FDA. Other example of products that class II include are, motorized wheelchairs, pregnancy test kits, and the Apple Watch ECG app. Before a Class II product can be sold it must show the FDA that it is “substantially equivalent” to another product that the FDA has already given clearance. The reasoning goes that if it’s pretty similar to another “cleared” product then it’s as safe and effective as the other device.

FDA Approved:

Items that must be FDA approved all come from class III, and makes up about 10% of medical devises. These medical devises impose the most risk to patients. The KN95 mask, which CAG Federal provides, is an example of a FDA approved item. The KN95 mask was formerly FDA registered, but is now FDA approved because of counterfeiting and product not living up to standards in FDA register process. Class III devices also include products like pacemakers, ventilators, breast implants, and replacement heart valves. These devices must submit an application for Premarket Approval (PMA) before marketing. To receive FDA approval for a class III products, manufacturers must demonstrate with sufficient, valid scientific evidence that there is a reasonable assurance that the devices are safe and effective for their intended use.

Final Thought:

This article is a helpful quick guideline on how each type of product is regulated by the FDA. CAG Federal is proud to say that many of their products are American made have either been FDA registered, FDA cleared, or FDA approved. Call us today at 877-797-8776 to discuss your current needs!

The Difference between Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4 Gowns

Gowns are personal protective equipment that are predominantly used in the healthcare setting. They are classified into four different levels and in this post I will break down each level for you.

Level 1: Level 1 gowns are minimal risk gowns. These gowns have the lowest level of protection. Level 1 gowns can be used for basic medical care, as a cover gown for visitors, or in any standard medical unit. The expected barrier effectiveness for a level 1 gown is minimal water resistant with some resistant to water spray.

Level 1

Level 2: Level 2 gowns are used for low risk situations. Examples of where people use this gown are during blood draw, suturing, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or a pathology lab. These gowns are used only for low-fluid, minimally invasive surgical procedures. Their expected barrier effectiveness is Low water resistance (resistant to water spray and some resistance to water penetration under constant contact with increasing pressure).

Level 2

Level 3: Level 3 gowns are used in moderate risk situations. They are most commonly used during arterial blood draw, inserting an Intravenous (IV) line, in the Emergency Room, or for trauma cases. They are mainly used in the widest range of surgical procedures, where moderate fluid protection is indicated. The expected barrier effectiveness of these gowns are moderate water resistant. They are resistant to water spray and have some resistance to water penetration under constant contact with increasing pressure.

Level 3

Level 4: Level 4 gowns are to be used in high risk situations. Examples of when they are used are during long fluid, intense procedures, surgery, when pathogen resistance is needed, or when infectious diseases are suspected (non-airborne). These gowns protection against blood- borne pathogens in critical zones, and are used for operating on patients with potential blood- borne pathogen risk. These gowns have the highest fluid and microbial barrier. There expected barrier effectiveness is to be Blood and viral penetration resistant.

Level 4

What level gown do people use in the world of COVID-19:

In the world we are into today, many of you must be thinking what does each gown level mean for COVID-19. Many medical workers are wearing the level 1 gowns for general protection. People who treat COVID patients in the ICU are mainly wearing level 2 gowns, and you may see some wear level 3 gowns in the designated COVID section of the hospital. A level 4 gown is not so common when dealing with COVID because those gowns are for major surgeries, such as open heart surgery, or a lung transplant.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the main difference between the gowns are there resistance to water and other fluids that may arise. Each situation is different, and gowns are mainly only used in the health care setting. If you are interested in a surgical gown, call CAG Federal today at 877-797-8776 to discuss your current needs!