Medical masks’ and respirators’ pattern of use, adverse effects and errors among Portuguese health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study

Source avec lien : American Journal of Infection Control, (Prépublication). 10.1016/j.ajic.2021.10.002

Pendant la pandémie de COVID-19, une pénurie de masques chirurgicaux (Mask) et de respirateurs (Resp) a été constatée dans le monde entier. Nous avons cherché à évaluer le mode d’utilisation, les effets indésirables et les erreurs d’utilisation par les professionnels de la santé (PSS) portugais.

Background During COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of surgical masks (Mask) and respirators (Resp) was experienced worldwide. We aimed to assess its pattern of use, adverse effects and user errors by Portuguese health care professionals (HCP). Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted through snowball convenience sample, collected by email/ social media to health care organizations. Participants answered an online anonymous survey in March 2021. Results Mean age of 3052 respondents was 42.1 years old, 83.6% were female and 77.8% provided direct health care to COVID-19 patients. Mean time of use per shift was 6-8 hours in 40.8% of the participants. 28.0% reported never changing it during their shift. Resp use (vs Mask) was more associated with discomfort (58.2% vs 26.8%), affecting task performance (41.5 vs 18.9%) and communication (55.0 vs 40.9%), dyspnea (36.0 vs 14.4%), skin rash (37.5 vs 19.4%) and headache (37.5 vs 19.4%). Frequent user errors included touching the front while in use (70.1% Mask vs 66.3% Resp) and omitting hand hygiene before (61.8% Mask vs 55.0% Resp) or after use (61.3% Mask vs 57.0% Resp). Average number of errors was higher for Mask (4.3), than for Resp (3.2) (all: P < .001). Conclusions Most HCP admitted an extended use of Mask/ Resp. Resp were more prone to adverse effects and Mask more prone to errors. Strategies to reinforce good practices should be considered.

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