Personal Protective Equipment and heat: risk of heat stress

image of ppe equipment donated

Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in warm/hot environments increases the risk of heat stress. Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. Heat stress can cause heat exhaustion and lead to heat stroke if the person is unable to cool down.

Measures to control the temperature of clinical environments and enable staff to make behavioural adaptations to stay cool and well hydrated should be made.

Staff may require more frequent breaks and the frequency of PPE changes may increase, with a resulting increase in demand.

The attached alert contains further information and actions.

Access the alert here

Thank you,
Central Alerting System team, MHRA