Effectiveness of personal protective equipment in preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection among healthcare workers.J Infect Chemother. 2021 Jan; 27(1):120-122.JI
Information on the effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) for preventing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among healthcare workers (HCWs), especially among HCWs with frequent contact with patients with SARS-CoV-2, is limited.
We conducted a prospective cohort study on 49 HCWs who worked in close contact with patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. HCWs had blood samples taken every 2 weeks to test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using two different types of assay.
Forty-nine participants (31 nurses, 15 doctors, 3 other workers) were enrolled. In total, 112 blood samples are obtained from participants. The median work days in 2 weeks was 9 (interquartile range (IQR): 5-10) days. In a single work day, 30 of the 49 participants (61.5%) had contact with patients with suspected or conformed SARS-CoV-2 at least 8 times, and approximately 60% of participants had more than 10 min of contact with a single patient. The median self-reported compliance to PPE was 90% (IQR: 80-100%). Seven participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibody using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); however, none were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody, so the positive ELISA results were assumed to be false-positive.
The study provides evidence that appropriate PPE is sufficient to prevent infection amongHCWs. It is necessary to establish a system that provides a stable supply of PPE for HCWs to perform their duties.