Awareness of Personal Protective Equipment Among Health Care Professionals
AbstractIn accordance to the severity of the outcomes associated with this disease this study was aimed at mapping out the knowledge, attitude and practice of availability and use of PPE use among the health care workers and medical students.
MethodsA cross-sectional study design was implied, using non-probability convenience sampling. Data was collected through a self-administered online questionnaire filled out by the corresponding participants in direct contact with Covid-19 patients that included Doctors, Medical students, Nurses and Paramedic staff. The study was conducted in various medical college and hospitals across Karachi over a period of one week (26/05/2020 – 04/06/2020). SPSS Version 22 was used for data analysis. The findings were analysed alongside guidelines from the world Health Organization (WHO). This study was approved by the Ethics review committee, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi (Reference number: 2020-4838-10683)
Results A total of 604 results were analysed. Mean age of participants was 31± 9.3 years and 323 (53.5%) were males. Most data was collected from doctors (68.4%). Only 244 (40.5%) of the participants reported a history of PPE exposure. Almost all of the participants were unaware of the WHO guidelines regarding the PPE and its conservation strategy in time of crisis. Inadequate knowledge coupled with less proficiency in practice proved to be a burden on the already scarce resources of PPE. WHO recommendations regarding the use of PPE during this Pandemic have evolved alongside emerging evidence. PPE has been extensively used and the resources depleting faster than it could be replenished. There are measures being taken on a global scale to overcome this by proposing strategies to conserve the existing PPE.
Conclusion PPE being an integral part for the safety of HCWs needs to be used according to the appropriate guidelines. Our research highlights a lack of awareness of PPE that needs to be addressed.
Keywords:COVID19, PPE, Awareness
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