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Medical Care

Healthcare Workers Not Removing Protective Garments Correctly

Fewer than one in six (4/30) healthcare workers (HCW) followed all CDC recommendations for the removal of personal protective equipment (PPE) after patient care, according to a report published in July 2015 in American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

A release from the publisher explains that in this study undertaken by researchers from the University of Wisconsin, a trained observer watched healthcare personnel entering and exiting patient rooms specified as following isolation precautions on various units of the hospital. Isolation precautions are used to help stop the spread of germs from one person to another and may require use of gowns, gloves, and face protection. Observations took place October 13th to 31st 2014.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that gloves should be removed first, followed by the gentle removal of the gown from the back while still in the patient’s isolation room. Of the thirty healthcare worksers observed removing PPE, seventeen removed the gown out of order, sixteen wore their PPE out into the hallway, and fifteen removed their gown in a manner that was not gentle, which could cause pathogens from the gown to transfer to their clothes.

The authors state that because of the recent t Ebola outbreak, the critical issue of proper PPE removal has come front and center. “Healthcare facilities should use this opportunity of heightened interest to undertake practice improvement focused on PPE removal protocol, including technique, for all healthcare-associated conditions that require the donning and doffing of PPE,” they wrote.


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