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1.
Gigiena i Sanitariya ; 101(11):1321-1327, 2022.
Article in Russian | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2218280

ABSTRACT

Introduction. The article presents the study results of the effect of personal protective equipment (PPE) from biological factors on the functional state of the medical workers' body and thermoregulatory reactions when working in the "biohazard zone” of the infectious department. Materials and methods. The study involved twenty five volunteers (doctors and paramedical staff of the infectious diseases department) performing official duties for 5 hours in the "biohazard zone” with an air temperature of 23.9 ± 1.6 ◦C and a relative humidity of 39.2 ± 11.8%. Measurements were carried out before the work shift start, during and within 30 minutes after leaving the "biohazard zone” in a room with a comfortable climatic conditions. Recorded indicators were skin temperature, heat, and moisture sensations on 11 areas of the body surface, body temperature (measured in the armpit), heart rate. Based on the obtained data, there were calculated the following parameters including body surface area, average skin, and body temperature, the change in the body's heat content for each hour of work, moisture loss, and energy consumption. Results. The use of PPE from biological factors leads to a heat and moisture exchange disorder of the human body with the environment, which is expressed in an increase in "shell” and "core” temperature, moisture loss, energy consumption, and, consequently, overheating, the appearance of uncomfortable sensations, as well as working capacity decrease. Limitations. When studying the thermal state of the body of 25 medical workers, the tension of thermoregulatory mechanisms when using biological PPE was established, depending on the type of work performed, and the severity of the labour process, gender, age, and weight. Conclusion. The obtained results showed the greatest impact on the thermal state during work duties in a comfortable climatic conditions to be exerted by the design and thermophysical properties of PPE from biological factors made of vapour resistant and airtight fabrics, as well as a long stay in the "biohazard zone” along with a high degree of psychological stress of their occupational activities. © 2022 Izdatel'stvo Meditsina. All rights reserved.

2.
Open Public Health Journal ; 15(1) (no pagination), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2214994

ABSTRACT

Background: Healthcare workers are the White army compacted the COVID-19 epidemic, and reports worldwide have shown an increase in SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare workers due to their direct interactions with infected patients. This study aimed to examine the clinical manifestations and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in Palestine and offer recommendations to ensure health workers' safety and adopt workplace safety policies. Method(s): This questionnaire-based cross-sectional observational study was conducted using an online questionnaire to collect information about SARS-CoV-2 transmission, signs, symptoms, and treatment reported by healthcare workers. Furthermore, we explored policies, protocols, and practices that make health workers vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Result(s): A total of 389 healthcare workers were included, 216 (55.5%) were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 173 (44.5%) were infected with the virus, and the prevalence of hospitalization was 16%. The most commonly reported symptoms are fatigue, weakness, and muscle pain. Female healthcare workers experienced a significantly extended duration of symptoms than male workers. Direct contact (working less than 1.5 m) with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients and lack of COVID-19 and PPE training were risk factors for COVID-19 infection among HCWs. Conclusion(s): The healthcare system must ensure a safe work environment and adopt policies and procedures to ensure HCW safety, proper training, and resource availability to cope with crises. Copyright © 2022 Abukhalil et al.

3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 851395, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2215326

ABSTRACT

Chest auscultation is the first procedure performed to detect endotracheal tube malpositioning but conventional stethoscopes do not conform to the personal protective equipment (PPE) protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic. This double-blinded randomized controlled trial evaluated the feasibility of using ear-contactless electronic stethoscope to identify endobronchial blocker established selective lung ventilation, simulating endobronchial intubation during thoracic surgery with full PPE. Conventional and electronic auscultation was performed without and with full PPE, respectively, of 50 patients with selective lung ventilation. The rates of correct ventilation status detection were 86 and 88% in the conventional and electronic auscultation groups (p = 1.00). Electronic auscultation revealed a positive predictive value of 87% (95% CI 77 to 93%), and a negative predictive value of 91% (95% CI 58 to 99%), comparable to the results for conventional auscultation. For detection of the true unilateral lung ventilation, the F1 score and the phi were 0.904 and 0.654, respectively for conventional auscultation; were 0.919 and 0.706, respectively for electronic auscultation. Furthermore, the user experience questionnaire revealed that the majority of participant anesthesiologists (90.5%) rated the audio quality of electronic lung sounds as comparable or superior to that of conventional acoustic lung sounds. In conclusion, electronic auscultation assessments of ventilation status as examined during thoracic surgery in full PPE were comparable in accuracy to corresponding conventional auscultation assessments made without PPE. Users reported satisfactory experience with the electronic stethoscope.

4.
6th International Conference on Advanced Production and Industrial Engineering , ICAPIE 2021 ; : 676-685, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2173872

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory disease and is declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). COVID-19 has disrupted global supply chains including those of medical products and created severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). To ease the situation, many universities, industries, maker communities, and hobbyists have come forward and shared their designs in the public domain, to enable manufacturing of PPE such as face shields with readily available materials in partnership with local industries. Face shield protects the facial region including the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth) from splashes of body fluids that could contain harmful pathogens, in this case the novel coronavirus. The design and manufacturing of two novel reusable, low-cost, lightweight, comfortable, and easy to wear face shields are presented in the current article. The headband in one face shield (referred as FS1) is realized via additive manufacturing (popularly known as 3D printing) and the other (denoted by FS2), using conventional milling operation. The novelty in FS1 is its headband, which is designed to cover the ears too while in FS2, the headband is made of 3-ply corrugated cardboard that is biodegradable and recyclable. A 175 microns thick, high transparency, scratch-resistant, and anti-fog sheet are used as the shield material. Mass-producing face shields at low costs (INR 20 or USD 0.27) with the selected manufacturing methods are proposed. Both products received very good feedback from frontline workers. © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

5.
Materials Horizons: From Nature to Nanomaterials ; : 425-454, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2173867

ABSTRACT

Currently, the whole world is going through a difficult health situation due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which was first found in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. Worldwide, COVID-19 has created a ruckus into many people's lives in an unparalleled way and affected the economy also. It is still spreading continuously throughout the day non-stop and has taken a lot of lives daily all over the world. To solve this problem, it is very important to conduct mass testing as earlier as possible by which will help to prevent the coronavirus from spreading quickly and from getting infected from the asymptomatic and presymptomatic person as well as by detecting this virus earlier, it can save their life. The whole world is constantly trying its best to defeat COVID-19, which includes the development of vaccines, diagnostic tools, antiviral disinfectants, and other physical protective equipment to prevent and protect from this virus. Recently, graphene and graphene-derived nanomaterials (GDNMs) have shown evidence to act as an emerging weapon in the war against COVID-19 by developing graphene-coated PPEs, antiviral surface disinfectants, graphene-based improved diagnostic equipment, and many other items which will help in diagnosis and treatment related to COVID-19 as well as to control the transmission of this virus. In addition, the presence of coronavirus in sewage was found in various countries, so GDNMs-based materials can be used in wastewater treatment where it will separate and remove the virus from the water. In this chapter, numerous reports, studies, and claims based on the recent progress of GDNMs related to COVID-19 were collectively summarized and the discussion on its properties and uses in antiviral coatings, wastewater treatment, diagnostic devices, and protective components to combat COVID-19 were done. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

6.
Materials Horizons: From Nature to Nanomaterials ; : 75-89, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2173860

ABSTRACT

In the current scenario emerging COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe global impact over the health of the human. It was started from China at the end of November or beginning of December 2019. It is noted that the existence/survival of novel coronavirus in harsh environmental condition for 72 h virus which cause rapid spread from one person to another. To stop the communal spread of this novel coronavirus various safety measures have been taken globally including hand sanitizers, social distancing, quarantine, and the most important thing is mask. Among the commendable safety measures mask is a key technology is moderately mature, while most of them cannot fight against the effect of viral infection. The non-woven material plays an important role for the manufacture of mask which offer barrier in flow of virus infiltration. If the causes filtration and the antiviral effects can be instantaneously unified into the mask, then it will be more efficient. In this chapter, we discussed about the advanced organic material used for antiviral coating over the safety measures like mask gloves and personnel protective equipment (PPE) kit including the causes, spread, and challenges to develop materials in cost-effective manner. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

7.
Microorganisms ; 10(12), 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2200528

ABSTRACT

Since influenza and coronaviruses are currently deadly and emerging threats worldwide, better treatment, remediation and prevention options are needed. In that regard, a basic understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2/COVID-19 (Betacoronaviridae) and other viral pathogen mechanisms of transmission are expected. Unfortunately, unprecedented, and growing distrust of vaccines and even masks or personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States and elsewhere presents itself as an added challenge. We postulate that development of improved and highly effective prophylactic measures, together with new life-saving therapies that do inhibit or otherwise treat infection of SARS-CoV-2, influenza and other viral pathogens, could be an adjunct measure to globally protect vulnerable individuals from pandemic threats. In this review, we share what we learned from the past COVID experience to offer a multifactorial and improved approach to current and future pandemic infections or threats using low-cost means.

8.
Pathology international ; 04, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2193181

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, autopsies have provided valuable insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19. The precise effect of this pandemic on autopsy procedures in Japan, especially in instances unrelated to COVID-19, has not yet been established. Therefore, we conducted a questionnaire survey from December 2020 to January 2021 regarding the status of pathological autopsy practices in Japan during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The questionnaire was sent to 678 medical facilities with pathologists, of which 227 responded. In cases where a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 was not made at the time of autopsy, many facilities counted them as suspected COVID-19 cases if pneumonia was suspected clinically. At around half of the sites, autopsies were prohibited for suspected COVID-19 cases. In addition, the number of autopsies of non-COVID-19 cases during the pandemic period was also investigated, and a significant decrease was observed compared with the incidence in the pre-pandemic period. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only the autopsies of COVID-19 cases but also the entire practice of pathological autopsies. It is necessary to establish a system that supports the implementation of pathological autopsy practices during the pandemic of an emerging infectious disease. Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Pathology International published by Japanese Society of Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

9.
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis ; : 105870, 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2179888

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world saw an exponential surge in the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, which eventually got discarded in the biomedical waste stream. In this study, thirteen different polymer samples from the PPE kit were collected and characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, thermogravimetric analysis, and analytical pyrolysis-gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry. The characterization data showed about 94% by mass of components were made of only three polymers, viz. polypropylene (PP, 75.6wt.%), polyethylene terephthalate (PET, 12.5wt.%), and polycarbonate (PC, 6wt.%). The analytical pyrolysis of the PPE coverall suit (PP) yielded mainly alkenes containing 2,4-dimethyl-1-heptene as the major compound with 17wt.% yield at 600oC. The pyrolysates from face shield (PET) were rich in benzoic acid (5.8wt.%) and acetophenone (4.8wt.%), while those from safety goggles (PC) were rich in phenol (17.6wt.%) and p-cresol (12.4wt.%) at 600oC. HZSM-5 and HY zeolites were used for the catalytic upgradation of pyrolysates especially from PP, PET and PC. The temperature and feed-to-catalyst ratio were optimized by performing catalytic fast pyrolysis experiments at 500 °C, 600 °C and 700 °C with different feed-to-catalyst ratios 1:2, 1:4, and 1:6 (w/w). The yield of aromatic hydrocarbons, viz., BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes) and naphthalene, was maximum (~25.7wt.%) from PP coverall when HY catalyst was used at 600oC and 1:6 (w/w) loading. In the case of PET face shield, the yield of BTEX, naphthalene and biphenyl was maximum (27.9wt.%) at 600oC and 1:4 (w/w) of HZSM-5, while in the case of PC goggles, it was maximum (18.6wt.%) at 700oC and 1:4 (w/w) of HY. This study shows that the entire PPE kit can be valorized via catalytic fast pyrolysis platform to generate petrochemical products like monoaromatic hydrocarbons in high selectivities.

10.
J Family Med Prim Care ; 11(8): 4119-4122, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2201966

ABSTRACT

The COVID 19 pandemic ravaged the globe with a remarkable ferocity and has not entirely abated till now with cases flaring up at various places at different times. The expected course is for it to become endemic with recurring exacerbations. Over the past two years, we have become wiser to its pathology, diagnosis, and treatment. However, it is imperative for us to regularly and consistently reassess our protocols to assimilate the current and ever-growing knowledge in this direction. Doing so will help us to use our resources judiciously, improve patient care, and enhance the overall benefit to stakeholders. In this article, we aim draw the researchers' attention to few issues which may not be at the forefront at this point in time but important nevertheless. These include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), universal gloving, isolation criteria, and handling of dead bodies, among others. We hope that a reassessment of the challenges involved in the said procedures will help us to be better prepared to face and tackle potential future waves and the multiple challenges that would potentially ensue post-spikes in infection incidences.

11.
Mater Today Proc ; 2022 Oct 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2181412

ABSTRACT

During this pandemic, it has become customary to wear a face waste mask to guard against coronavirus illness (COVID-19). However, huge production of face waste masks, PPE kit and gloves pose environmental risks, since existing disposal methods such as incineration and reclamation which are emitting hazardous substances. In the present study covid-19 medical waste material like waste face waste masks; gloves and PPE kit (personal protective equipment) are considered as the feedstock for the thermal degradation process. Mainly nylon, polyethylene and polypropylene compounds are present in the Covid-19 medical waste compounds, further feedstock material is subjected to physical characterization process like proximate, ultimate and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA), to determine the moisture, ash, volatile matter and decomposition temperature respectively. The waste waste mask has lower ash content of 9.7 %, whereas gloves and other PPEs has 11.8 and 11.2 % of ash respectively. Similarly volatile matter is also higher for waste waste mask than other feed stocks. Pyrolysis process is carried out between a temperature range of 100 °C to 700 °C and the products of the pyrolysis process are pyrolytic liquid, gas and residue. The maximum pyrolytic oil is produced from waste masks, gloves and other PPE kit at 300, 350 and 320 °C respectively. The calorific value of the pyrolytic oil from waste mask, gloves and other PPE kit possess 40.85,40.11,40.31 MJ/kg respectively, which indicates that all the pyrolytic oil has closer to the diesel fuel. Therefore pyroltic oil obtained from the Covid-19 medical waste can be used as an alternative fuel for CI engine.

12.
Clin Simul Nurs ; 2022 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2178143

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) required innovative training strategies for emergent aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) in intensive care units (ICUs). This manuscript summarizes institutional operationalization of COVID-specific training, standardized across four ICUs. An interdisciplinary team collaborated with the Simulator Program and OpenPediatrics refining logistics using process maps, walkthroughs and simulation. A multimodal approach to information dissemination, high-volume team training in modified resuscitation practices and technical skill acquisition included instructional videos, training superusers, small-group simulation using a flipped classroom approach with rapid cycle deliberate practice, interactive webinars, and cognitive aids. Institutional data on application of this model are presented. Success was founded in interdisciplinary collaboration, resource availability and institutional buy in.

13.
Science of The Total Environment ; : 161455, 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2165841

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the resulting coronavirus disease (COVID-19), was declared a public health emergency of global concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early months of 2020. There was a marked lack of knowledge to inform national pandemic response plans encompassing appropriate disease mitigation and preparation strategies to constrain and manage COVID-19. For example, the top 16 "most cited” papers published at the start of the pandemic on core knowledge gaps collectively constitute a staggering 29,393 citations. Albeit complex, appropriate decontamination modalities have been reported and developed for safe reuse of personal and protective equipment (PPE) under emergency use authorization (EUA) where critical supply chain shortages occur for healthcare workers (HCWs) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Commensurately, these similar methods may provide solutions for the safe decontamination of enormous volumes of PPE waste promoting opportunities in the circular bioeconomy that will also protect our environment, habitats and natural capital. The co-circulation of the highly transmissive mix of COVID-19 variants of concern (VoC) will continue to challenge our embattled healthcare systems globally for many years to come with an emphasis placed on maintaining effective disease mitigation strategies. This viewpoint article addresses the rationale and key developments in this important area since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides an insight into a variety of potential opportunities to unlock the long-term sustainability of single-use medical devices, including waste management.

14.
American Journal of Infection Control ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2164964

ABSTRACT

Background : Reuse of personal protective equipment (PPE), masks more specifically, during the COVID-19 pandemic was common. The primary objective of this study was to compare pre-pandemic surgical site infection (SSI) rates prior to reuse of PPE, to pandemic SSI rates after reuse of PPE in trauma surgical patients. Methods : A retrospective cohort analysis collected from the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program database was performed. The pre-COVID cohort was from 03/01/2019 to 12/31/2019 and post-COVID cohort was 03/01/2020 to 12/31/2020. Descriptive statistics were used to assess differences between variables in each cohort. Results : Nearly half (49.8%) of our cohort (n= 48,987) was in the post-COVID group. There was no significant difference in frequency of operative intervention between groups (p > 0.05). There was no significant increase (p > 0.05) between pre- and post-COVID cohorts for superficial, deep, or organ space SSI when reuse of masks was common. Discussion : Reuse of PPE did not lead to an increase in SSI in surgical patients. These findings are consistent with previous studies, but the first to be described in the trauma surgical patient population. Studies such as this one may help inform further discussion regarding PPE usage as we continue to emerge from the current pandemic with the continuous threat of future pandemics.

15.
Infection Prevention in Practice ; : 100265, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2159008

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Personal protective equipment (PPE) is effective in preventing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection. Resident knowledge of proper use and effective training methods is unknown. We hypothesise that contamination decreases and knowledge increases after a formalised PPE educational session. Methods Participants included first year interns during their residency orientation in June 2020. Before training, participants took a knowledge test, donned PPE, performed a simulated resuscitation, and doffed. A standardised simulation-based PPE training of the donning and doffing protocol was conducted, and the process repeated. Topical non-toxic highlighter tracing fluid was applied to manikins prior to each simulation. After doffing, areas of contamination, defined as discrete fluorescent areas on participants' body, was evaluated by ultraviolet light. Donning and doffing were video recorded and asynchronously rated by two emergency medicine (EM) physicians using a modified Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol. The primary outcome was PPE training effectiveness defined by contamination and adherence to CDC sequence. Results Forty-eight residents participated: 24 internal medicine, 12 general surgery, 6 EM, 3 neurology, and 3 psychiatry. Before training, 81% of residents were contaminated after doffing;17% were contaminated after training (P<0.001). The most common contamination area was the wrist (50% pre-training vs. 10% post-training, P<0.001). Donning sequence adherence improved (52% vs. 98%, P<0.001), as did doffing (46% vs. 85%, P<0.001). Participant knowledge improved (62% to 87%, P <0.001). Participant confidence (P<0.001) and preparedness (P<0.001) regarding using PPE increased with training. Conclusion A simulation-based training improved resident knowledge and performance using PPE.

16.
J Wound Care ; 31(Sup12):S22-s28, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-2155824

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: During the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, to prevent the transmission of the virus, the use of personal protection products and equipment were recommended by international and national organisations. The need to use it more frequently and for a long time can damage the skin of health professionals. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and factors associated with skin lesions in health professionals resulting from the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). METHOD: This was a cross-sectional exploratory study through an online questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire collected socio-labour characterisation data and the second part related to exposure factors. The variables were analysed according to the prevalence and the odds ratio (OR), within a 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: Of the 398 participants who met the inclusion criteria, 65.3% were self-diagnosed with skin lesions: 37.3% with pressure injury, 25.8% with contact/allergic dermatitis and 2.7% with acne. Regarding the use of PPE, of the 240 professionals who reported using an N95 mask, 80.4% developed injuries, 70.4% of which related to a work regime of >6 hours per day (OR: 2.08, 95% CI: 1.79-2.42). CONCLUSION: The results of this study showed a significant prevalence of skin lesions in health professionals. Among exposure factors, the N95 mask and goggles stand out. Longer or more frequent exposure time to personal protective products and equipment proved to be important factors to be considered.

17.
BMC Prim Care ; 23(1):310, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-2153511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Primary healthcare (PHC) providers are widely acknowledged for putting the most efficient and long-lasting efforts for addressing community health issues and promoting health equity. This study aimed to explore PHC providers' experiences with coronavirus pandemic preparedness and response in Armenia. METHODS: We applied a qualitative study design using semi-structured in-depth interviews and structured observation checklists. Study participants were recruited using theoretical and convenience sampling techniques throughout Armenia. Inductive conventional content analysis was utilized to analyze the in-depth interviews. Nineteen in-depth interviews were conducted with 21 participants. Observations took place in 35 PHC facilities. The data collected during the observations was analyzed using the "SPSS22.0.0.0" software. RESULTS: Five main themes of primary healthcare providers' experiences were drawn out based on the study findings: 1) the gap in providers' risk communication skills;2) uneven supply distributions;3) difficulties in specimen collection and testing processes;4) providers challenged by home visits;5) poor patient-provider relationships. The results revealed that primary care providers were affected by uneven supply distribution throughout the country. The lack of proper laboratory settings and issues with specimen collection were challenges shaping the providers' experiences during the pandemic. The study highlighted the health systems' unpreparedness to engage providers in home visits for COVID-19 patients. The findings suggested that it was more challenging for healthcare providers to gain the trust of their patients during the pandemic. The study results also underlined the need for trainings to help primary care providers enhance their risk communication expertise or assign other responsible bodies to carry out risk communication on PHC providers' behalf. CONCLUSION: The study discovered that PHC providers have a very important role in healthcare system's preparedness and response to handle public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the findings the study team recommends prioritizing rural PHC development, ensuring appropriate supply distributions, developing comprehensive protocols on safe home visits and specimen collection and testing processes, and trainings PHC providers on risk communication, patient-centeredness, as well as proper use of personal protective equipment.

18.
Emerg Med Australas ; 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-2152569

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine workload, thermal discomfort, and heat-related symptoms among healthcare workers (HCWs) in an Australian emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was employed among HCWs in an emergency department at a metropolitan hospital in Brisbane, Australia. Respondents provided demographic information including their self-reported age, sex, height, weight, role (e.g., doctor, nurse), and whether they wore PPE during their shift, rated as either Full PPE, Partial PPE, or usual uniform or scrubs. The workload of HCWs was assessed with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's task load index (NASA-TLX). Thermal discomfort was evaluated using scales from the International Organisation for Standardisation. Responders rated their subjective heat illness using the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire (ESQ-SHI). RESULTS: Fifty-nine HCWs completed the survey (27 male, 31 female). Overall workload from the NASA-TLX was 64.6 (IQR: 56.5-73.3) for doctors, 72.5 (IQR: 63.3-83.3) for nurses, and 66.7 (IQR: 58.3-74.17) for other staff, representing moderate to high ratings. Eighty-one percent reported thermal sensation to be slightly warm, warm, or hot, and 88% reported being uncomfortable, ranging from slightly to extremely. Ninety-seven percent reported at least one heat-strain symptom. More than 50% reported light-headedness or headache and approximately 30% reported feeling dizzy, faint, or weak. CONCLUSIONS: Emergency department HCWs experience thermal discomfort when wearing PPE. Combined with their workloads, HCWs experienced symptoms related to heat strain. Therefore, careful consideration should be given to managing heat strain among HCWs when wearing PPE in an Emergency Department. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

19.
27th Summer School Francesco Turco, 2022 ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2147146

ABSTRACT

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply chain (SC) was seriously affected by disruptions consequent to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, due to the primary role of these products to limit the virus diffusion and the consequent large increase in demand that was experienced. Literature addresses the effects of Covid-19 on the PPE SC of items like masks, visors, and gloves from different perspectives, such as the impacts on vulnerability and the associated need for resilience, the solutions to improve the value chain of these products, as well as the SC performances experienced by the actors involved, particularly the healthcare end users. However, few studies focus on PPE producers and traders operating in the Italian market. The present work discusses a survey aimed at capturing how stock levels, demand rates, and lead times in the PPE SC were impacted by the onset of the pandemic. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 994 firms selected from the official lists of PPE authorized producers and traders in Italy. The application of the Kruskal-Wallis statistical test highlighted an increase in delivery lead times affecting all the respondents, regardless their SC role. Importers and distributors reported a larger number of customer orders than Italian manufacturers, with consequent higher stock levels, both during and after the first lockdown period. The outcomes of the study might help deepening the causes and effects of the reported criticalities in the PPE SC. © 2022, AIDI - Italian Association of Industrial Operations Professors. All rights reserved.

20.
Proceedings of the 2022 Design of Medical Devices Conference (Dmd2022) ; 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2147038

ABSTRACT

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals and healthcare institutions lacked an adequate supply of masks and other personal protective equipment. Moreover, protocols that were in place to ensure healthcare workers had appropriately sized masks consumed precious time and resources. Any determination of a user's correct respirator size demanded an in person assessment and had the potential to waste multiple respirators. Here we introduce IBARS (Image-based Application for Respirator Sizing), a novel tool which provides respirator size recommendations based on a facial image and basic user demographics. This solution obviates the need for an in person assessment, providing an accurate size recommendation within seconds. The application has the potential to reduce time-per-worker respirator fitting, reduce overall respirator usage, and increase safety by providing hospitals with a non-contact option for sizing. Furthermore, future applications may assist healthcare institutions optimize supply chains by providing rapid assessments and reassessments of appropriate respirator sizes used by their workers. Early testing indicated accuracy of 71.3% for the software (N=16), and further testing is underway at Houston Methodist Hospital.

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