• Adherence to personal protective equipment guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic among healthcare personnel: A louisiana case study

      Aggarwal, Ayushi; Darwish, Oliver A.; Karvar, Mehran; Ma, Chenhao; Wu, Mengfan; Haug, Valentin; Orgill, Dennis P.; Panayi, Adriana C. (Cambridge University Press, 2021-06-08)
      Objective: To determine the extent that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), per CDC guidance, was used during the COVID-19 pandemic by health care personnel (HCP) in Louisiana in five clinical settings. Methods: An online questionnaire was distributed to the LA Nursery registry. Appropriate use of PPE in each of the five clinical scenarios was defined by the authors based on CDC guidelines. The scenarios ranged from communal hospital space to carrying out Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP). 1760 HCP participated between June-July 2020. Results: The average adherence in LA was lowest for carrying out AGPs scenario at 39.5% compliance and highest for patient contact when COVID-19 not suspected scenario at 82.8% compliance. Adherence among parishes varied widely. Commentary to suggest a shortage of PPE supply and the practice of re-using PPE was strong. Conclusions: Use of appropriate PPE varied by setting. It was higher in scenarios where only face masks (or respirators) were the standard (i.e., community hospital or when COVID-19 not suspected) and lower in scenarios where additional PPE (e.g., gloves, eye protection, and isolation gown) were required. Policy implications: As HCP are at the forefront of efforts to contain the coronavirus, the factors underlying variable adherence to CDC protocols in LA need to be further analyzed and addressed. © 2021 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.