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1 in 5 female doctors concerned about PPE

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One in five female doctors are concerned about whether their personal protective equipment (PPE) is the correct size as fears grow over more infectious strains of coronavirus.

Exclusive data from the British Medical Association, which polled over 7,000 UK healthcare workers, found a fifth of female doctors were not at all confident their PPE is “fully fit-tested” or adjusted to tally with their requirements. Just 13% of men said the same.

The professional organisation for doctors argues PPE is generally designed to fit the “size and shape of male bodies” even though women make up 75% of NHS workers.

Helena McKeown, chair of the BMA representative body, told The Independent the situation is not improving due to a lack of action from the government as she warned there is a dearth of different sized PPE for a range of body shapes available.

Dr McKeown, who is a GP, said: “Without properly sitting face protection, these doctors are putting themselves at risk. Poorly fitting PPE makes performing simple tasks more difficult and at worst exposes health professionals to dangerous infection."

“We’ve had the pandemic a year and we know a one size fits all approach does not work. Whether that is for the size of the gown, clothes or fit of the face mask. We have had a year to get this right.”

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Source: The Independent, 16 February 2021

 

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