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Research Articles

Use of personal protective equipment by healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 infection at a tertiary care hospital in a lower middle-income country

Authors:

SK Jayatilleke ,

Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda., LK
About SK
I am the Consultant Microbiologist of Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda.
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DM Mendis,

Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, LK
About DM
Registrar in Medical Microbiology
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TPW Perera,

Zhongshan School of Medicine, CN
About TPW
Medical Student
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SS Manoj,

Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, LK
About SS
Medical Officer
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GK Iresha,

Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, LK
About GK
Infection Prevention and Control Nurse
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PCLS Buddhadasa,

Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, LK
About PCLS
Infection Prevention and Control nurse
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HCL Hansani

Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, LK
About HCL
Infection Prevention and Control nurse
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Abstract

Introduction: Data on PPE use and COVID-19 transmission in a healthcare setting is sparse.

 

Method: This study is a retrospective descriptive study on PPE use and Covid-19 transmission in a hospital.  Data collected during routine risk assessment was analyzed using SPSS_26 software.

 

Results: A total of 108 COVID-19 positive patients were diagnosed in the hospital, of whom 17 were health care workers (HCW). Of the 108, 29 (26.9%) were asymptomatic. Aerosol generating procedures were performed in 10 events. Fifty three HCWs were quarantined for 14 days following exposure but only 4 developed the disease. Of the total 946 events, 945 had HCWs exposed within 1 metre to COVID-19 positive patients while one event had exposure to the equipment used on a patient. Of the 945 events within a 1 metre distance, attending HCWs wore respirators during 446 (47.1%) events.  The source patient wore a mask only in 717 (75.9%) of the events. In 98 events, exposure was for more than 15 minutes. The Ct value of the source patient’s PCR was between 15.54 to 24.06 or RAT positive when the HCWs acquired the infection while it ranged from 23.28 to 33 when the contacts did not develop the disease. Not having a mask on by the source (p=0.014), >15 minutes exposure within 1m (p=0.03) and not having a face shield in addition to a mask (p=0.019) had significant association with COVID-19 transmission.

 

Conclusions: Acquiring COVID-19 infection in the hospital setting was uncommon (4/946) in spite of not using respirators during all healthcare exposures. In a quarter of the events, the source patients were not wearing a mask.  Not having a mask on by the source (p=0.014), >15 minutes exposure within 1m (p=0.03) and not having a face shield in addition to a mask (p=0.019) had significant association with COVID-19 transmission.

How to Cite: Jayatilleke, S., Mendis, D., Perera, T., Manoj, S., Iresha, G., Buddhadasa, P. and Hansani, H., 2022. Use of personal protective equipment by healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 infection at a tertiary care hospital in a lower middle-income country. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases, 12(1), pp.E6 1–12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v12i1.8416
Published on 25 Feb 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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