Researchers Study PPE Use in Emergency Units

A growing number of TB cases diagnosed and treated in hospitals, mainly by the association of TB with HIV infection and other immunosuppressive diseases, pose a risk to health professionals. Thus, they must be prepared to identify suspects and TB patients as early as possible, valuing aspects of prevention and use of security measures. Martins et al. (2013) sought to assess the suitability for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare professionals of an emergency unit in accordance with the classification TSN (classification made in the hospital where the study was done for T being patient diagnosed with tuberculosis, S suspected tuberculosis and N not tuberculosis) caring for patients with suspected or confirmed tuberculosis as well as the adequacy of isolation prescribed and practiced.

This observational study was conducted at the emergency unit in a reference hospital for infectious diseases. The healthcare professionals were evaluated according three criteria: correct use of PPE; proper fit of PPE in the face ("seal check"); EPI and conditioning. It evaluated the adequacy of isolation by comparing what was prescribed and practiced at the door/bedside.

The researchers evaluated "standard precautions (47.5%), isolation 4N95 (respiratory aerosol) (28.0%) and the classifications N (58.5%) and S + (13.4%). Of 73 observations, N95 mask noncompliance was 15.1%. Already in isolation N95 (respiratory aerosol+contact), non-adherence to this EPI was 26.67%. Regarding the use of gown and glove at isolation N95, nonadherence was 66.6% and 50%, respectively. From 15 observations on the implementation of the "seal check," 40% were screened; 30 observations against the conditioning mask N95, 86% were wearing PPE properly."

The researchers observed the highest frequency of use of N95 mask in isolation; less than 50% had the proper seal check and over 80% conditioned the N95 mask properly.

Reference: Martins RS, Cavalcante NJF, et al. Poster presentation P281 at the 2nd International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC 2013): Adequacy to the use of personal protective equipment in the isolations of emergency. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2013, 2(Suppl 1):P281 doi:10.1186/2047-2994-2-S1-P281.