How Clinicians Manage Routinely Low Supplies of Personal Protective Equipment

Source avec lien : American Journal of Infection Control, (Prépublication). 10.1016/j.ajic.2021.08.012

Les équipements de protection individuelle sont souvent absents dans les pays à revenu faible ou intermédiaire. Les travailleurs de la santé adoptent des solutions de rechange pour faire face à l’absence d’équipement. Malgré leur importance pour la sécurité, ces solutions de contournement sont mal comprises. Cette étude identifie de multiples solutions de contournement utilisées systématiquement par les infirmières au Libéria, ainsi que leurs implications pour les travailleurs et les patients.



Recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) is routinely limited or unavailable in low-income countries, but there is limited research as to how clinicians adapt to that scarcity, despite its implications for patients and workers.


This is a qualitative secondary analysis of case study data collected in Liberia in 2019. Data from the parent study were included in this analysis if it addressed availability and use of PPE in the clinical setting. Conventional content analysis was used on data including: field notes documenting nurse practice, semi-structured interview transcripts, and photographs.


Data from the majority of participants (32/37) and all facilities (12/12) in the parent studies were included. 83% of facilities reported limited PPE. Five management strategies for coping with limited PPE supplies were observed, reported, or both: rationing PPE, self-purchasing PPE, asking patients to purchase PPE, substituting PPE, and working without PPE. Approaches to rationing PPE included using PPE only for symptomatic patients or not performing physical exams. Substitutions for PPE were based on supply availability.


Strategies developed by clinicians to manage low PPE likely have negative consequences for both workers and patients; further research into the topic is important, as is better PPE provision in low-income countries.

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