The Surgical MIC has just launched its PPE Challenge to protect front line workers from COVID-19 and keep health services functioning.
Surgery and other interventional procedures generate aerosols that put health care workers at particular risk from COVID-19 infection. Viral particles liberated from infected patients are circulated by positive pressure ventilation systems producing a “viral storm”, with particles remaining viable on surfaces for several days. Operations involving laparoscopic surgery, endoscopy, power tools etc. put healthcare workers at particular risk.
Lessons from China and other European countries have taught us that current standards of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) are inadequate in protecting from aerosol transmission. Full body Hazmat suits are the only real protection, but are not routinely available. There is an urgent need to understand the challenges faced by healthcare workers in protecting themselves against aerosol contamination. Only by adequately protecting front line staff will the health service continue to function.
We are asking our community to respond to the Surgical MedTech Co-operative “PPE Challenge”. We need to know what the real day-to-day challenges are for front line healthcare workers in maintaining PPE, or simple, effective solutions that might be rapidly scaled up. Examples might include impractical “doffing and donning techniques”, communication difficulties when wearing PPE, modified snorkel face masks etc.
We have a team of clinicians and academics on standby to receive your challenges and solutions. Once we receive your entries, this team will prioritise those challenges and solutions that we can get to the frontline during this pandemic.
We will also be updating our website with the challenges we have received. If you work within the NHS and would like to lead on any of the ideas presented, then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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