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Personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis: a snapshot and recommendations from the frontline of a university teaching hospital

Key, Thomas, Mathai, Naveen J., Venkatesan, Aakaash Sethuraman, Farnell, Damian ORCID: and Mohanty, Khitish 2020. Personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis: a snapshot and recommendations from the frontline of a university teaching hospital. Bone and Joint Open 1 (5) 10.1302/2046-3758.15.BJO-2020-0027.R1

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Aims The adequate provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers has come under considerable scrutiny during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to evaluate staff awareness of PPE guidance, perceptions of PPE measures, and concerns regarding PPE use while caring for COVID-19 patients. In addition, responses of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals (OHCPs) were compared. Methods The inclusion criteria were all staff working in clinical areas of the hospital. Staff were invited to take part using a link to an online questionnaire advertised by email, posters displayed in clinical areas, and social media. Questions grouped into the three key themes - staff awareness, perceptions, and concerns - were answered using a five-point Likert scale. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare results across all three groups of staff. Results Overall, 315 staff took part in our study. There was a high awareness of PPE guidance at 84.4%, but only 52.4% of staff reported adequate PPE provision. 67.9% were still keen to come to work, despite very high levels of anxiety relating to contracting COVID-19 despite wearing PPE. Doctors had significantly higher ratings for questions relating to PPE awareness compared to other staff groups, while nursing staff and OHCPs had significantly higher levels of anxiety compared to doctors in relation to PPE and contracting COVID-19 (p < 0.05 using a Kruskal-Wallis test). Conclusion We believe four recommendations are key to improve PPE measures and decrease anxiety: 1) nominated ward/department PPE champions; 2) anonymized reporting for PPE concerns; 3) formal PPE education sessions; and 4) drop-in counselling sessions for staff. We hope the insight and recommendations from this study can improve the PPE situation and maintain the health and wellbeing of the clinical work force, in order to care for COVID-19 patients safely and effectively.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
ISSN: 2633-1462
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 5 May 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 23:21

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