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8.
J Hosp Infect ; 121: 75-81, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1851508

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has critically challenged healthcare systems globally. Examining the experiences of healthcare workers (HCWs) is important for optimizing ongoing and future pandemic responses. OBJECTIVES: In-depth exploration of Australian HCWs' experiences of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with a focus on reported stressors vis-à-vis protective factors. METHODS: Individual interviews were performed with 63 HCWs in Australia. A range of professional streams and operational staff were included. Thematic analysis was performed. RESULTS: Thematic analysis identified stressors centred on paucity of, or changing, evidence, leading to absence of, or mistrust in, guidelines; unprecedented alterations to the autonomy and sense of control of clinicians; and deficiencies in communication and support. Key protective factors included: the development of clear guidance from respected clinical leaders or recognized clinical bodies, interpersonal support, and strong teamwork, leadership, and a sense of organizational preparedness. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insights into the key organizational sources of emotional stress for HCWs within pandemic responses and describes experiences of protective factors. HCWs experiencing unprecedented uncertainty, fear, and rapid change, rely on clear communication, strong leadership, guidelines endorsed by recognized expert groups or individuals, and have increased reliance on interpersonal support. Structured strategies for leadership and communication at team, service group and organizational levels, provision of psychological support, and consideration of the potential negative effects of centralizing control, would assist in ameliorating the extreme pressures of working within a pandemic environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Protective Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infection Control/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control
9.
Med Princ Pract ; 31(1): 54-58, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741735

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The recent outbreak of COVID-19 limited the resources of the National Health System necessitating the formulation of novel practice recommendations for oncological care. To date, management guidelines for cancer patients in case of pandemic are not available. Each center tried to manage its own needs and requests independently, often reducing access to treatment and diagnostic exams to patients. Here, we have described the management of cancer patients during COVID-19 infection with suggestions of some practical approaches applied by our Regional Center for Oncological Orientation (COrO) in S.G. Moscati Hospital (Taranto, Italy). SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Our strategy was to minimize any interruption of cancer treatment through the extension of Taranto's Health Regional (COrO). The extension of the oncological network, assisted by the General Management of Taranto ASL through agreements with private structures in Taranto's area, allowed cancer patients to receive up to 11 different types of services, according to their needs (first investigation or follow-up), and represents an exclusive organization on the entire Italian territory. RESULTS: Thanks to the organization of the COrO in 2020, 1,406 first oncological visits and 566 preparatory treatments were carried out, 372 of exemption for oncological pathology (free health care) were activated, and 1,742 instrumental investigations and 7 cases of civil invalidity were performed (certificate of disability). CONCLUSIONS: We have overcome barriers to care of oncology patients leading to a reduction of waiting lists representing a practical application model that can be extended to other healthcare settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Neoplasms/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Continuity of Patient Care , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Italy , Medical Oncology/organization & administration , Pandemics
10.
Turk J Med Sci ; 51(SI-1): 3215-3220, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726143

ABSTRACT

Background/aim: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been appeared first in China since December 2019. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs primarily with droplets through coughing and sneezing and also occurs through inhalation of aerosolized secretions, which travel, remain suspended in the air longer. Materials and methods: Since early stages of the outbreak, COVID-19 cases have been described in healthcare workers (HCWs). However, in the early stages, the disease may be asymptomatic. This may lead to incorrect diagnosis or delayed diagnosis and may lead to the nosocomial spread of the virus. One of the most important causes of transmission among HCWs is being exposed to an aerosolized virus in a closed environment for a long time. It is possible to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals with outpatient treatment and triage. Results: Infection control measures, including wearing surgical masks, hand hygiene, and social distance are considered essential in preventing human-to-human transmissions of SARS-CoV-2. Immediate response and practices of infection control measures are critical for saving lives during an epidemic inside and outside the hospital. Conclusion: Analyzing current knowledge about the features of SARS-CoV-2 infection, screening, personal protection protocols, triage and psychological support practices for healthcare professionals can be promising in terms of controlling the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Hand Hygiene , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Body Temperature , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hand Hygiene/methods , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Masks , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2
12.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261365, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643242

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cleanliness of hospital surfaces helps prevent healthcare-associated infections, but comparative evaluations of various cleaning strategies during COVID-19 pandemic surges and worker shortages are scarce. PURPOSE AND METHODS: To evaluate the effectiveness of daily, enhanced terminal, and contingency-based cleaning strategies in an acute care hospital (ACH) and a long-term care facility (LTCF), using SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assays. Daily cleaning involved light dusting and removal of visible debris while a patient is in the room. Enhanced terminal cleaning involved wet moping and surface wiping with disinfectants after a patient is permanently moved out of a room followed by ultraviolet light (UV-C), electrostatic spraying, or room fogging. Contingency-based strategies, performed only at the LTCF, involved cleaning by a commercial environmental remediation company with proprietary chemicals and room fogging. Ambient surface contamination was also assessed randomly, without regard to cleaning times. Near-patient or high-touch stationary and non-stationary environmental surfaces were sampled with pre-moistened swabs in viral transport media. RESULTS: At the ACH, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on 66% of surfaces before cleaning and on 23% of those surfaces immediately after terminal cleaning, for a 65% post-cleaning reduction (p = 0.001). UV-C enhancement resulted in an 83% reduction (p = 0.023), while enhancement with electrostatic bleach application resulted in a 50% reduction (p = 0.010). ATP levels on RNA positive surfaces were not significantly different from those of RNA negative surfaces. LTCF contamination rates differed between the dementia, rehabilitation, and residential units (p = 0.005). 67% of surfaces had RNA after room fogging without terminal-style wiping. Fogging with wiping led to a -11% change in the proportion of positive surfaces. At the LTCF, mean ATP levels were lower after terminal cleaning (p = 0.016). CONCLUSION: Ambient surface contamination varied by type of unit and outbreak conditions, but not facility type. Removal of SARS-CoV-2 RNA varied according to cleaning strategy. IMPLICATIONS: Previous reports have shown time spent cleaning by hospital employed environmental services staff did not correlate with cleaning thoroughness. However, time spent cleaning by a commercial remediation company in this study was associated with cleaning effectiveness. These findings may be useful for optimizing allocation of cleaning resources during staffing shortages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Adenosine Triphosphate/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disinfectants , Fomites/virology , Health Facilities , Humans , New York/epidemiology , Patients' Rooms , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Ultraviolet Rays
13.
Gut ; 71(2): 238-253, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622066

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Helicobacter pylori infection is mostly a family-based infectious disease. To facilitate its prevention and management, a national consensus meeting was held to review current evidence and propose strategies for population-wide and family-based H. pylori infection control and management to reduce the related disease burden. METHODS: Fifty-seven experts from 41 major universities and institutions in 20 provinces/regions of mainland China were invited to review evidence and modify statements using Delphi process and grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation system. The consensus level was defined as ≥80% for agreement on the proposed statements. RESULTS: Experts discussed and modified the original 23 statements on family-based H. pylori infection transmission, control and management, and reached consensus on 16 statements. The final report consists of three parts: (1) H. pylori infection and transmission among family members, (2) prevention and management of H. pylori infection in children and elderly people within households, and (3) strategies for prevention and management of H. pylori infection for family members. In addition to the 'test-and-treat' and 'screen-and-treat' strategies, this consensus also introduced a novel third 'family-based H. pylori infection control and management' strategy to prevent its intrafamilial transmission and development of related diseases. CONCLUSION: H. pylori is transmissible from person to person, and among family members. A family-based H. pylori prevention and eradication strategy would be a suitable approach to prevent its intra-familial transmission and related diseases. The notion and practice would be beneficial not only for Chinese residents but also valuable as a reference for other highly infected areas.


Subject(s)
Family Health , Helicobacter Infections/prevention & control , Helicobacter pylori , Infection Control/organization & administration , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , China , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Helicobacter Infections/diagnosis , Helicobacter Infections/transmission , Humans , Infant , Middle Aged , Young Adult
15.
Nagoya J Med Sci ; 83(4): 715-725, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561175

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected infection control and prevention measures. We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on postoperative infections and infection control measures in patients underwent gastrointestinal surgery for malignancies. We retrospectively evaluated changes in clinicopathological features, frequency of alcohol-based hand sanitizer use, frequency of postoperative complications, and microbial findings among our patients in February-May in 2019 (Control group) and 2020 (Pandemic group), respectively. Surgical resection in pathological stage III or IV patients was more frequently performed in the Pandemic group than in the Control group (P = 0.02). The total length of hospitalization and preoperative hospitalization was significantly shorter in the Pandemic group (P = 0.01 and P = 0.008, respectively). During the pandemic, hand sanitizer was used by a patients for an average of 14.9±3.0 times/day during the pandemic as opposed to 9.6±3.0 times/day in 2019 (p<0.0001). Superficial surgical site infection and infectious colitis occurred less frequently during the pandemic (P = 0.04 and P = 0.0002, respectively). In Pandemic group, Enterobacter, Haemophilus, and Candida were significantly decreased in microbiological cultures (P < 0.05, P < 0.05, P = 0.02, respectively) compared with Control group. Furthermore, a significant decrease in Streptococcus from drainage cultures was observed in the Pandemic group (P < 0.05). During the COVID-19 pandemic, a decrease in nosocomial infections was observed in the presence of an increase in alcohol-based hand sanitizer use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Digestive System Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/surgery , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/organization & administration , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/pathology , Hand Sanitizers , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Ind Health ; 59(5): 318-324, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547178

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is around the world. We attempt to apply three-step method in ISO/IEC Guide 51: 2014 to COVID-19 infection control in the workplace. The results show that the COVID-19 infection control measures include the eradication of the virus, the destruction of infectivity, the detoxification and weakening and the elimination of opportunities for infection as "Inherently Safe Design Measures", the avoidance of contact as "Safeguarding and Complementary Protective Measures" and the reduction of contact and the avoidance of seriousness as "Information for Use". Among these specific measures, the New Normal, especially in the manufacturing industries, would be "telecommuting" and "unmanned workplaces", which are part of the elimination of opportunities for infection, and "changes in flow lines" and "changes in airflow", which are part of the avoidance of contact. Where "telecommuting" and "unmanned workplaces" are feasible, they should be implemented as much as possible, and where they are not, attempts should be made to minimize human-to-human contact by "changes in flow lines". In addition, in the area of "changes in airflow", there are high expectations for future research on how to establish a ventilation design for COVID-19, in which but also the source would be workers themselves, not only combustible gases and toxic gases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Occupational Health/standards , Workplace/organization & administration , Global Health , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Teleworking , Ventilation/standards , Workplace/standards
18.
J Am Coll Radiol ; 17(8): 1011-1013, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Quarantine and stay-at-home orders are strategies that many countries used during the acute pandemic period of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to prevent disease dissemination, health system overload, and mortality. However, there are concerns that patients did not seek necessary health care because of these mandates. PURPOSE: To evaluate the differences in the clinical presentation of acute appendicitis and CT findings related to these cases between the COVID-19 acute pandemic period and nonpandemic period. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective observational study was performed to compare the acute pandemic period (March 23, 2020, to May 4, 2020) versus the same period the year before (March 23, 2019, to May 4, 2019). The proportion of appendicitis diagnosed by CT and level of severity of the disease were reviewed in each case. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed to identify significant differences between the two groups. RESULTS: A total of 196 abdominal CT scans performed due to suspected acute appendicitis were evaluated: 55 from the acute pandemic period and 141 from the nonpandemic period. The proportion of acute appendicitis diagnosed by abdominal CT was higher in the acute pandemic period versus the nonpandemic period: 45.5% versus 29.8% (P = .038). The severity of the diagnosed appendicitis was higher during the acute pandemic period: 92% versus 57.1% (P = .003). CONCLUSION: During the acute COVID-19 pandemic period, fewer patients presented with acute appendicitis to the emergency room, and those who did presented at a more severe stage of the disease.


Subject(s)
Appendicitis/diagnostic imaging , Appendicitis/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/statistics & numerical data , Analysis of Variance , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Multivariate Analysis , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , United States
19.
Int J Prison Health ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501265

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: New South Wales (NSW) correctional system houses 30% of prisoners in Australia and at this time has only had a single documented case of COVID-19 amongst its prisoner population. The coordinated response by Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (The Network) undertaken with the support of NSW Ministry of Health, in partnership with Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW), Youth Justice and private jails has ensured that the NSW correctional system has remained otherwise COVID-free. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A research study of how a range of partners which support the operations of NSW Correctional System developed an effective approach for the prevention a COVID-19 epidemic amongst its inmates. FINDINGS: Establishment of effective partnerships, early coordination of representatives from all aspects of the NSW correctional system, limited access to the correctional environment, reduced prison population and strict isolation of all new receptions have all contributed to maintaining this COVID-free status despite other NSW settings with similar risk profiles, such as aged care facilities and cruise ship arrivals, experiencing serious outbreaks. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Although Australia/New Zealand context of suppressed community infection rates for COVID-19 (which are approaching elimination in some jurisdictions) is in contrast to the situation in other parts of the world, the principles described in this paper will be useful to most other correctional systems. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Modelling was used to underline our approach and reinforced the veracity of following this approach. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The Network and CSNSW has been able to mount an effective, integrated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been sustainable through the first peak of COVID-19 cases. This case study catalogues the process of developing this response and details each intervention implemented with inventive use of tables to demonstrate the impact of the range of interventions used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Prisons/organization & administration , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , New South Wales/epidemiology , Organizational Case Studies , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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