The new study that has been published in Medical Education has detailed how personal protection equipment (PPE) can lead to exposure to COVID-19.
The researchers simulated what it would be like to care for someone that is confirmed to have a COVID-19 infection. Healthcare professionals had to put on a cap, gloves, gown, eye protection, N95 mask, and a face shield before entering the room with the simulated patient. Researchers coated the patient in a nontoxic fluorescent solution to simulate the virus, and the same solution was added to a simulated albuterol nebulizer treatment that the patient was using.
Healthcare staff completed the care of the patient and was brought back to a room where they were hit with a black light, revealing numerous patches of the fluorescent solution all over their PPE equipment. There was also a fluorescent solution on the skin of some of the healthcare workers, which proved that some mistakes were made by the staff while they were caring for the patient. On average, the solution was found on the faces and forearms of the healthcare staff.
What this study does show is that PPE equipment is extremely important, especially for front line healthcare workers. The study also highlights the importance of correct protocols being followed by healthcare staff, as even the slightest mishap can lead to the virus being exposed to numerous people.
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