World Health Organization recommends use of disposable shoe covers in high-risk environments

Disposable shoe covers serve a variety of purposes in the hospital, medical offices, laboratories, surgical, and emergency response situations. Shoe covers protect the wearer from potential hazards that may be generated by other people, objects, or the general environment. They also offer protection to others who are in near proximity to the wearer. In addition, they also keep the environment from being contaminated by the wearer, who may have substances on his/her shoes that might prove damaging to the room or place involved.

The World Health Organization states that using personal protective equipment provides a physical barrier between micro-organisms and the wearer. It offers protection by helping prevent microorganisms from contaminating hands, eyes, clothing, hair, and shoes. PPE also helps prevent micro-organisms from being transmitted to other patients and staff. 

In the World Health Organization publication “Practical Guidelines for Infection Control in Health Care Facilities” it states that disposable shoe covers should be worn where there is the likelihood the patient’s blood, bodily fluids, secretions or excretions may splash, spill or leak onto the hair or shoes. Disposable shoe covers should not be reused and should be discarded according to the healthcare facility protocol.

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