Availability of personal protective equipment and diagnostic and treatment facilities for healthcare workers involved in COVID-19 care: A cross-sectional study in Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador.
ABSTRACT: Many affected counties have had experienced a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. We aimed to investigate the needs of healthcare professionals and the technical difficulties faced by them during the initial outbreak. A cross-sectional web-based survey was conducted among the healthcare workforce in the most populous cities from three Latin American countries in April 2020. In total, 1,082 participants were included. Of these, 534 (49.4%), 263 (24.3%), and 114 (10.5%) were physicians, nurses, and other professionals, respectively. At least 70% of participants reported a lack of PPE. The most common shortages were shortages in gown coverall suits (643, 59.4%), N95 masks (600, 55.5%), and face shields (569, 52.6%). Professionals who performed procedures that generated aerosols reported shortages more frequently (p<0.05). Professionals working in the emergency department and primary care units reported more shortages than those working in intensive care units and hospital-based wards (p<0.001). Up to 556 (51.4%) participants reported the lack of sufficient knowledge about using PPE. Professionals working in public institutions felt less prepared, received less training, and had no protocols compared with their peers in working private institutions (p<0.001). Although the study sample corresponded to different hospital centers in different cities from the participating countries, sampling was non-random. Healthcare professionals in Latin America may face more difficulties than those from other countries, with 7 out of 10 professionals reporting that they did not have the necessary resources to care for patients with COVID-19. Technical and logistical difficulties should be addressed in the event of a future outbreak, as they have a negative impact on healthcare workers. Clinical trial registration: NCT04486404.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the front lines against COVID-19 may face increased workload, and stress. Understanding HCPs risk for burnout is critical to supporting HCPs and maintaining the quality of healthcare during the pandemic. METHODS:To assess exposure, perceptions, workload, and possible burnout of HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic we conducted a cross-sectional survey. The main outcomes and measures were HCPs self-assessment of burnout and other experiences and attitudes associated with working during the COVID-19 pandemic. FINDINGS:A total of 2,707 HCPs from 60 countries participated in this study. Fifty-one percent of HCPs reported burnout. Burnout was associated with work impacting household activities (RR=1.57, 95% CI=1.39-1.78, P<0.001), feeling pushed beyond training (RR=1.32, 95% CI=1.20-1.47, P<0.001), exposure to COVID-19 patients (RR=1.18, 95% CI=1.05-1.32, P=0.005), making life prioritizing decisions (RR=1.16, 95% CI=1.02-1.31, P=0.03). Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) was protective against burnout (RR=0.88, 95% CI=0.79-0.97, P=0.01). Burnout was higher in high-income countries (HICs) compared to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (RR=1.18; 95% CI=1.02-1.36, P=0.018). INTERPRETATION:Burnout is prevalent at higher than previously reported rates among HCPs working during the COVID-19 pandemic and is related to high workload, job stress, and time pressure, and limited organizational support. Current and future burnout among HCPs could be mitigated by actions from healthcare institutions and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders aimed at potentially modifiable factors, including providing additional training, organizational support, support for family, PPE, and mental health resources. FUNDING:N/A.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the front lines against COVID-19 may face increased workload and stress. Understanding HCPs' risk for burnout is critical to supporting HCPs and maintaining the quality of healthcare during the pandemic. METHODS:To assess exposure, perceptions, workload, and possible burnout of HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic we conducted a cross-sectional survey. The main outcomes and measures were HCPs' self-assessment of burnout, indicated by a single item measure of emotional exhaustion, and other experiences and attitudes associated with working during the COVID-19 pandemic. FINDINGS:A total of 2,707 HCPs from 60 countries participated in this study. Fifty-one percent of HCPs reported burnout. Burnout was associated with work impacting household activities (RR = 1·57, 95% CI = 1·39-1·78, P<0·001), feeling pushed beyond training (RR = 1·32, 95% CI = 1·20-1·47, P<0·001), exposure to COVID-19 patients (RR = 1·18, 95% CI = 1·05-1·32, P = 0·005), and making life prioritizing decisions (RR = 1·16, 95% CI = 1·02-1·31, P = 0·03). Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) was protective against burnout (RR = 0·88, 95% CI = 0·79-0·97, P = 0·01). Burnout was higher in high-income countries (HICs) compared to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (RR = 1·18; 95% CI = 1·02-1·36, P = 0·018). INTERPRETATION:Burnout is present at higher than previously reported rates among HCPs working during the COVID-19 pandemic and is related to high workload, job stress, and time pressure, and limited organizational support. Current and future burnout among HCPs could be mitigated by actions from healthcare institutions and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders aimed at potentially modifiable factors, including providing additional training, organizational support, and support for family, PPE, and mental health resources.
Project description:Introduction:While medicine shortages are complex, their mitigation is more of a challenge. Prospective risk assessment as a means to mitigate possible shortages, has yet to be applied equally across healthcare settings. The aims of this study have been to: 1) gain insight into risk-prevention against possible medicine shortages among healthcare experts; 2) review existing strategies for minimizing patient-health risks through applied risk assessment; and 3) learn from experiences related to application in practice. Methodology:A semi-structured questionnaire focusing on medicine shortages was distributed electronically to members of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action 15105 (28 member countries) and to hospital pharmacists of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) (including associated healthcare professionals). Their answers were subjected to both qualitative and quantitative analysis (Microsoft Office Excel 2010 and IBM SPSS Statistics®) with descriptive statistics based on the distribution of responses. Their proportional difference was tested by the chi-square test and Fisher's exact test for independence. Differences in the observed ordinal variables were tested by the Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis test. The qualitative data were tabulated and recombined with the quantitative data to observe, uncover and interpret meanings and patterns. Results:The participants (61.7%) are aware of the use of risk assessment procedures as a coping strategy for medicine shortages, and named the particular risk assessment procedure they are familiar with failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) (26.4%), root cause analysis (RCA) (23.5%), the healthcare FMEA (HFMEA) (14.7%), and the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) (14.7%). Only 29.4% report risk assessment as integrated into mitigation strategy protocols. Risk assessment is typically conducted within multidisciplinary teams (35.3%). Whereas 14.7% participants were aware of legislation stipulating risk assessment implementation in shortages, 88.2% claimed not to have reported their findings to their respective official institutions. 85.3% consider risk assessment a useful mitigation strategy. Conclusion:The study indicates a lack of systematically organized tools used to prospectively analyze clinical as well as operationalized risk stemming from medicine shortages in healthcare. There is also a lack of legal instruments and sufficient data confirming the necessity and usefulness of risk assessment in mitigating medicine shortages in Europe.
Project description:A growing body of evidence demonstrates that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is a major contributor to the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontline healthcare workers in COVID-19 hotspots have faced numerous challenges, including shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and difficulties acquiring clinical testing. The magnitude of the exposure of healthcare workers and the potential for asymptomatic transmission makes it critical to understand the incidence of infection in this population. To determine the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst healthcare workers, we studied frontline staff working in the Montefiore Health System in New York City. All participants were asymptomatic at the time of testing and were tested by RT-qPCR and for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The medical, occupational, and COVID-19 exposure histories of participants were recorded via questionnaires. Of the 98 asymptomatic healthcare workers tested, 19 (19.4%) tested positive by RT-qPCR and/or ELISA. Within this group, four (4.1%) were RT-qPCR positive, and four (4.1%) were PCR and IgG positive. Notably, an additional 11 (11.2%) individuals were IgG positive without a positive PCR. Two PCR positive individuals subsequently developed COVID-19 symptoms, while all others remained asymptomatic at 2-week follow-up. These results indicate that there is considerable asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 within the healthcare workforce, despite current mitigation policies. Furthermore, presuming that asymptomatic staff are not carrying SARS-CoV-2 is inconsistent with our results, and this could result in amplified transmission within healthcare settings. Consequently, aggressive testing regiments, such as testing frontline healthcare workers on a regular, multi-modal basis, may be required to prevent further spread within the workforce and to patients.
Project description:Due to supply chain disruption, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused severe shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care professionals. Local fabrication based on 3D printing is one way to address this challenge, particularly in the case of simple products such as protective face shields. As a consequence, many public domain designs for face shields have become available. No clear path exists, however, for introducing a locally fabricated and unapproved product into a clinical setting. In a US health care setting, face shields are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); similar policies exist in other countries. We describe a research protocol under which rapid iteration on an existing design, coupled with clinical feedback and real-world testing in an emergency department, allowed a face shield to be adopted by the incident command team at a major academic medical center. We describe our design and testing process and provide an overview of regulatory considerations associated with fabrication and testing of face shields and related products. All designs, materials used, testing protocols, and survey results are reported in full to facilitate the execution of similar face shield efforts in other clinical settings. Our work serves as a case study for development of a robust local response to pandemics and other health care emergencies, with implications for healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, regulatory agencies and concerned citizens.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Globalisation has increased the opportunities for health professionals working in developed countries to provide clinical and educational support in developing countries. However, how these experiences contribute to the leadership competency of health professionals is unclear; therefore, this study explored this with the objective of analysing the process of developing individual leadership competency. DESIGN:This is a qualitative descriptive study. Qualitative descriptive study is widely used in healthcare research, particularly to describe the nature of various healthcare phenomena. Qualitative descriptive data were collected in face-to-face, semistructured interviews. SETTING:The authors interviewed Japanese health professionals who participated in an international medical cooperation project as part of a multinational medical team between July 2017 and March 2018, and analysed and interpreted the data using a social constructivism paradigm. PARTICIPANTS:The authors interviewed 20 research participants, including 5 nurses, 5 dentists and 10 physicians with an average of 15.3 years of clinical experience. RESULTS:The interviews identified 58 emergent themes related to their leadership competency, 23 of which affected the actual medical care in their own institutions. The authors categorised the 58 emergent themes into seven competency areas: leadership concepts, teambuilding, direction setting, communication, business skills, working with others and self-development. The authors identified the relationships among each competency and identified differences between professions: nurses particularly reflected on their empathic attitudes towards patient after global clinical health experience; dentists tended to reflect on their business skills; physicians tended to reflect on their leadership concepts and teambuilding. CONCLUSIONS:This study clarified the leadership competency gained through short-term global clinical health experience and the process of individual leadership competency development. The findings provide expected learning competency for those considering medical practice in developing or other countries in the future.
Project description:The World Health Organization estimates a global deficit of about 12.9 million skilled health professionals (midwives, nurses, and physicians) by 2035. These shortages limit the ability of countries, particularly resource-constrained countries, to deliver basic health care, to respond to emerging and more complex needs, and to teach, graduate, and retain their future health professionals-a vicious cycle that is perpetuated and has profound implications for health security. The Global Health Service Partnership (GHSP) is a unique collaboration between the Peace Corps, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Seed and host-country institutions, which aims to strengthen the breadth and quality of medical and nursing education and care delivery in places with dire shortages of health professionals. Nurse and physician educators are seconded to host institutions to serve as visiting faculty alongside their local colleagues. They serve for 1 year with many staying longer. Educational and clinical best practices are shared, emphasis is placed on integration of theory and practice across the academic-clinical domains and the teaching and learning environment is expanded to include implementation science and dissemination of locally tailored and sustainable practice innovations. In the first 3 years (2013-2016) GHSP placed 97 nurse and physician educators in three countries (Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda). These educators have taught 454 courses and workshops to 8,321 trainees, faculty members, and practicing health professionals across the curriculum and in myriad specialties. Mixed-methods evaluation included key stakeholder interviews with host institution faculty and students who indicate that the addition of GHSP enhanced clinical teaching (quality and breadth) resulting in improved clinical skills, confidence, and ability to connect theory to practice and critical thinking. The outputs and outcomes from four exemplars which focus on the translation of evidence to practice through implementation science are included. Findings from the first 3 years of GHSP suggest that an innovative, locally tailored and culturally appropriate multi-country academic-clinical partnership program that addresses national health priorities is feasible and generated new knowledge and best practices relevant to capacity building for nursing and medical education. This in turn has implications for improving the health of populations who suffer a disproportionate burden of global disease.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Since its onset, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, with particularly severe outcomes in healthcare institutions and congregate settings. To mitigate spread, healthcare systems have been cohorting patients to limit contacts between uninfected patients and potentially infected patients or healthcare workers (HCWs). A major challenge in managing the pandemic is the presence of currently asymptomatic/presymptomatic individuals capable of transmitting the virus, who could introduce COVID-19 into uninfected cohorts. The optimal combination of personal protective equipment (PPE), testing and other approaches to prevent these events is unclear, especially in light of ongoing limited resources.<h4>Methods</h4>Using stochastic simulations with a susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered dynamic model, we quantified and compared the impacts of PPE use, patient and HCWs surveillance testing and subcohorting strategies.<h4>Results</h4>In the base case without testing or PPE, the healthcare system was rapidly overwhelmed, and became a net contributor to the force of infection. We found that effective use of PPE by both HCWs and patients could prevent this scenario, while random testing of apparently asymptomatic/presymptomatic individuals on a weekly basis was less effective. We also found that even imperfect use of PPE could provide substantial protection by decreasing the force of infection. Importantly, we found that creating smaller patient/HCW-interaction subcohorts can provide additional resilience to outbreak development with limited resources.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These findings reinforce the importance of ensuring adequate PPE supplies even in the absence of testing and provide support for strict subcohorting regimens to reduce outbreak potential in healthcare institutions.
Project description:This study investigates the forces that contributed to severe shortages in personal protective equipment in the US during the COVID-19 crisis. Problems from a dysfunctional costing model in hospital operating systems were magnified by a very large demand shock triggered by acute need in healthcare and panicked marketplace behavior that depleted domestic PPE inventories. The lack of effective action on the part of the federal government to maintain and distribute domestic inventories, as well as severe disruptions to the PPE global supply chain, amplified the problem. Analysis of trade data shows that the US is the world's largest importer of face masks, eye protection, and medical gloves, making it highly vulnerable to disruptions in exports of medical supplies. We conclude that market prices are not appropriate mechanisms for rationing inputs to health because health is a public good. Removing the profit motive for purchasing PPE in hospital costing models, strengthening government capacity to maintain and distribute stockpiles, developing and enforcing regulations, and pursuing strategic industrial policy to reduce US dependence on imported PPE will help to better protect healthcare workers with adequate supplies of PPE.
Project description:PURPOSE:To survey healthcare workers (HCW) on availability and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) caring for COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). MATERIALS AND METHOD:A web-based survey distributed worldwide in April 2020. RESULTS:We received 2711 responses from 1797 (67%) physicians, 744 (27%) nurses, and 170 (6%) Allied HCW. For routine care, most (1557, 58%) reportedly used FFP2/N95 masks, waterproof long sleeve gowns (1623; 67%), and face shields/visors (1574; 62%). Powered Air-Purifying Respirators were used routinely and for intubation only by 184 (7%) and 254 (13%) respondents, respectively. Surgical masks were used for routine care by 289 (15%) and 47 (2%) for intubations. At least one piece of standard PPE was unavailable for 1402 (52%), and 817 (30%) reported reusing single-use PPE. PPE was worn for a median of 4 h (IQR 2, 5). Adverse effects of PPE were associated with longer shift durations and included heat (1266, 51%), thirst (1174, 47%), pressure areas (1088, 44%), headaches (696, 28%), Inability to use the bathroom (661, 27%) and extreme exhaustion (492, 20%). CONCLUSIONS:HCWs reported widespread shortages, frequent reuse of, and adverse effects related to PPE. Urgent action by healthcare administrators, policymakers, governments and industry is warranted.