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Patients endangered by ‘hazardous’ use of PPE


The “hazardous” use of personal protective equipment (PPE) required because of COVID-19 is contributing to the spread of secondary infections in intensive care units and other hospital settings, a leading expert has told HSJ.

Infection Prevention Society vice president Professor Jennie Wilson, said: “[PPE] has been used to protect the staff, but the way it has been used has increased the risk of transmission between patients. The widespread use of PPE particularly in critical care environments has exacerbated the problem (of patient to patient transmission). Unless we tackle the approach to PPE we will continue to see this major risk of transmission of infections between patients.”

Professor Wilson warned this was espeically worrying as the risk includes spreading antibiotic resistant infections among ICU patients. There is increasing concern these are developing more often in covid patients due to widespread use of broad spectrum antibiotics in the early days of the pandemic, she added.

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Source: HSJ, 3 July 2020

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