5 March 2021 (Last Updated March 5th, 2021 18:03)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) played a key role in preventing frontline healthcare providers from being at risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Verdict has conducted a poll to assess how healthcare providers should use PPE after the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis of the poll results shows that healthcare providers should continue to use PPE at the same frequency as now in all healthcare settings, as voted by 59% of the respondents.
The frequency of PPE usage should remain the same post-COVID, but only in the busiest parts of hospitals such as emergency departments, as opined by 17% of the respondents. According to 8% of the respondents, PPE should be used at the same frequency as during COVID, but only in certain seasons such as flu season. Further, 10% of the respondents voted that PPE should be used less frequently after COVID, while 6% of the respondents opined that PPE should be used by healthcare providers under other conditions after the pandemic.
The analysis is based on 321 responses received from the readers of Hospital Management, a Verdict network site, between 18 January and 02 March.
PPE usage during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
The surge in use of PPE during the coronavirus pandemic led to a worldwide shortage of various PPE equipment including protective suits, gowns, gloves, face shields, masks, and goggles. PPE shortage was a major reason behind high rates of infection among healthcare providers in Italy and the US, where healthcare facilities were overwhelmed due to the mounting number of COVID-19 cases.
PPE usage is expected to continue post-pandemic with expenditure on PPE projected to triple by 2027, according to the Health Industry Distributors Association. Researchers are, therefore, working towards making PPE equipment more effective, biodegradable, and sustainable. Researchers from the University of Alberta are, for example, developing a fabric treatment for medical gowns and masks that can kill viruses and bacteria upon contact.