Study Reveals Lax Attitudes Toward PPE Use

Nursing staff members are more susceptible to biological hazards in healthcare due to the greater frequency of patient contact. Thus, preventive measures to contagion and spread of disease are essential to provide safe care. Santos et al. (2013) sought to assess the knowledge and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the biosafety measures taken by the nursing staff, and the factors interfering in the exercise of such practices.

This was an observational, non-experimental, quantitative, cross-sectional, developed at the Institute of Infectious Diseases Emilio Ribas, reference hospital care to infectious diseases. The study population consisted of 52 professionals, including nurses and nursing assistants who worked in one of four adult patient units.

Results: 73.1% used PPE during aerosol-generating procedures, with 65.4% using a respirator mask. Just 10.5% followed contact isolation, using gloves and gown simultaneously. Among all professionals, 25% do not use PPE at some point in their activities, with the main reasons being discomfort/difficulty breathing, and gloves that decrease tactile sensitivity. With regard to hand hygiene there was a low uptake in three conditions: 11.13% before contact with patients, 57.6% after contact, and 52, 3% after removal of gloves.

The researchers conclude that despite having knowledge about the need for the use of PPE in the appropriate caution by contact, professionals had lax attitudes.

Reference: Santos PB, Moraes MS, et al. Poster presentation P287 at the 2nd International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC 2013): Adherence to biosafety practices by nursing staff in the face of situations of occupational risk. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2013, 2(Suppl 1):P287 doi:10.1186/2047-2994-2-S1-P287