Researchers identify PPE-related Skin Injuries

Published: May 2, 2020

Apart from the shortage of PPE posing threat to healthcare workers around the world, a new problem has been identified in the form of PPE-related skin injuries.

PPE-related Skin Injury

A study by Chinese researchers published in Advances in Wound Care brought up the issue of PPE-related skin injuries among healthcare workers. Of the more than 4,000 healthcare workers studied, about 42.8% experienced serious PPE-related skin injuries. The researchers pointed out that these injuries are serious when left untreated and in the absence of sufficient preventive measures.

Types

The study has identified 3 main types of PPE-related skin injuries:

  • Device related pressure injuries
  • Skin tear
  • Moisture associated skin damage

Factors

The study has highlighted the factors that increase the risk of such injuries:

  • Gender: more prevalent among males than females.
  • Age: workers who are over the age of 35 years are more at risk.
  • Healthcare roles: doctors are more at risk than nurses.
  • PPE quality: injuries are more prevalent when grade-3 PPE is used.
  • Wearing time: risk is higher when the PPE is worn for over 4 hours.
  • Sweating

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