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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792681

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: the COVID-19 pandemic has incurred psychological risks for healthcare workers (HCWs). We established a Victorian HCW cohort (the Coronavirus in Victorian Healthcare and Aged-Care Workers (COVIC-HA) cohort study) to examine COVID-19 impacts on HCWs and assess organisational responses over time. METHODS: mixed-methods cohort study, with baseline data collected via an online survey (7 May-18 July 2021) across four healthcare settings: ambulance, hospitals, primary care, and residential aged-care. Outcomes included self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTS), wellbeing, burnout, and resilience, measured using validated tools. Work and home-related COVID-19 impacts and perceptions of workplace responses were also captured. RESULTS: among 984 HCWs, symptoms of clinically significant depression, anxiety, and PTS were reported by 22.5%, 14.0%, and 20.4%, respectively, highest among paramedics and nurses. Emotional exhaustion reflecting moderate-severe burnout was reported by 65.1%. Concerns about contracting COVID-19 at work and transmitting COVID-19 were common, but 91.2% felt well-informed on workplace changes and 78.3% reported that support services were available. CONCLUSIONS: Australian HCWs employed during 2021 experienced adverse mental health outcomes, with prevalence differences observed according to occupation. Longitudinal evidence is needed to inform workplace strategies that support the physical and mental wellbeing of HCWs at organisational and state policy levels.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Mental Health , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1881-e1884, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455263

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers are at increased risk of occupational transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We report 2 instances of healthcare workers contracting SARS-CoV-2 despite no known breach of personal protective equipment. Additional specific equipment cleaning was initiated. Viral genomic sequencing supported this transmission hypothesis and our subsequent response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Genomics , Humans , Infection Control , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(8): 1004-1006, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284660

ABSTRACT

Rapid detection and isolation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients is the only means of reducing hospital transmission. We describe the impact of implementation of on-site severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on reducing turnaround time, isolation duration, pathology test ordering, and antibiotic use in patients who do not have COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Intern Med J ; 51(1): 42-51, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944728

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization recognised clusters of pneumonia-like cases due to a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 became a pandemic 71 days later. AIM: To report the clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory data and outcomes of the first group of 11 returned travellers with COVID-19 in Australia. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-centre case series. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were admitted to tertiary referral hospitals in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. RESULTS: The median age of the patient cohort was 42 years (interquartile range (IQR), 24-53 years) with six men and five women. Eight (72.7%) patients had returned from Wuhan, one from Shenzhen, one from Japan and one from Europe. Possible human-to-human transmission from close family contacts in gatherings overseas occurred in two cases. Symptoms on admission were fever, cough and sore throat (n = 9, 81.8%). Co-morbidities included hypertension (n = 3, 27.3%) and hypercholesterolaemia (n = 2, 18.2%). No patients developed severe acute respiratory distress nor required intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation. After a median hospital stay of 14.5 days (IQR, 6.75-21), all patients were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: This is a historical record of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia during the early biocontainment phase of the national response. These findings were invaluable for establishing early inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 models of care and informing the management of COVID-19 over time as the outbreak evolved. Future research should extend this Australian case series to examine global epidemiological variation of this novel infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
6.
Infect Dis Health ; 26(2): 118-122, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-926271

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tertiary referral health service. INTERVENTION(S): An approach to hospital based contact tracing is described along with tools employed to streamline the process and including the development of an outbreak management team (OMT) for each contact trace. RESULTS: Forty-one OMTs occurred, involving 23 HCW and 18 patient index cases. The total furloughed HCWs arising from these contact traces was 383, with individual contact traces furloughing a mean (range) of 10 (0-80) HCWs. Importantly, 15 furloughed HCWs subsequently became COVID-19 positive during their 14-day isolation period, showing the importance of the contact tracing process and the ability to remove workers from the workplace before they become infectious. CONCLUSIONS: A standardised, streamlined contact tracing procedure in healthcare settings ensures any impacts of COVID-19 positive cases are consistently managed. This response framework may be of use to other health services and help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Healthcare , COVID-19/transmission , Communication , Health Personnel , Humans
7.
Women Birth ; 34(5): 473-476, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-817023

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Universal screening has been proposed as a strategy to identify asymptomatic individuals infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and mitigate transmission. AIM: To investigate the rate of positive tests among pregnant women in Melbourne, Australia. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional prevalence study at three maternity hospitals (one tertiary referral hospital and two secondary maternities) in Melbourne, Australia. SARS-CoV-2 testing was offered to all pregnant women attending face-to-face antenatal visits and to those attending the hospital with symptoms of possible coronavirus disease, between 6th and 19th of May 2020. Testing was performed by multiplex-tandem polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on combined oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs. The primary outcome was the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed in 350 women, of whom 19 had symptoms of possible COVID-19. The median maternal age was 32 years (IQR 28-35 years), and the median gestational age at testing was 33 weeks and four days (IQR 28 weeks to 36 weeks and two days). All 350 tests returned negative results (p̂=0%, 95% CI 0-1.0%). CONCLUSION: In a two-week period of low disease prevalence, the rate of asymptomatic coronavirus infection among pregnant women in Australia during the study period was negligible, reflecting low levels of community transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Prenatal Care , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Syst Rev ; 9(1): 173, 2020 08 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-706054

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at particular risk during pandemics and epidemics of highly virulent diseases with significant morbidity and case fatality rate. These diseases include severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Ebola. With the current (SARS-CoV-2) global pandemic, it is critical to delineate appropriate contextual respiratory protection for HCWs. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) as part of respiratory protection versus another device (egN95/FFP2) on HCW infection rates and contamination. METHODS: Our primary outcomes included HCW infection rates with SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, Ebola, or MERS when utilizing PAPR. We included randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled trials, and observational studies. We searched the following databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and CENTRAL). Two reviewers independently screened all citations, full-text articles, and abstracted data. Due to clinical and methodological heterogeneity, we did not conduct a meta-analysis. Where applicable, we constructed evidence profile (EP) tables for each individual outcome. Confidence in cumulative evidence for each outcome was classified according to the GRADE system. RESULTS: We identified 689 studies during literature searches. We included 10 full-text studies. A narrative synthesis was provided. Two on-field studies reported no difference in the rates of healthcare workers performing airway procedures during the care of critical patients with SARS-CoV-2. A single simulation trial reported a lower level of cross-contamination of participants using PAPR compared to alternative respiratory protection. There is moderate quality evidence that PAPR use is associated with greater heat tolerance but lower scores for mobility and communication ability. We identified a trend towards greater self-reported wearer comfort with PAPR technology in low-quality observational simulation studies. CONCLUSION: Field observational studies do not indicate a difference in healthcare worker infection utilizing PAPR devices versus other compliant respiratory equipment. Greater heat tolerance accompanied by lower scores of mobility and audibility in PAPR was identified. Further pragmatic studies are needed in order to delineate actual effectiveness and provider satisfaction with PAPR technology. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: The protocol for this review was prospectively registered with the International Register of Systematic Reviews identification number CRD42020184724 .


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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