Science

Covid-19 diagnosis before anaesthesia promotes efficient use of PPE

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 05, 2020 Published on October 05, 2020

Coronavirus, Covid-19, health, pandemic, children, PPE, anaesthesia

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, US, carried out a study to show that universal coronavirus testing of children undergoing procedures requiring anaesthesia encourages efficient use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The researchers wrote in their study presented at the Anesthesiology 2020 annual meeting: “Our study links the importance of universal testing for Covid-19, increased safety of staff, and efficient use of PPE, especially items such as N95 face masks, which are in low supply.”

Lead author Lenard Babus added: “If universal testing were used outside the hospital, outpatient facilities and other treatment centres could experience similar PPE and safety benefits.”

The study was published in the journal EurekAlert!

Methodology

The researchers examined results of coronavirus testing in anaesthesia procedures performed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia between March 26 and May 11 this year.

Also read: Wearing a mask does not lead to overexposure to carbon dioxide: Study

All children were tested for Covid-19 using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test prior to receiving anaesthesia.

The researchers then carried out a verbal screening method to compare the test results with those who were suspected of being infected with Covid-19.

Overall, 1,033 children were included in the study and 146 children verbally screened positive for at least one of the three criteria.

Researchers noted that without Covid-19 PCR testing, healthcare providers, who treated all 146 children would have been required to wear expanded PPE, including an N95 mask or respirator.

Also read: Researchers reveal strong impact of Covid-19 on blood-clotting system

However, because their Covid-19 PCR test was negative, 102 of the 146 patients received care with standard PPE, a reduction of 70 per cent.

They also found that 10 children who were verbally screened negative for the disease were asymptomatic cases of the virus.

This may have otherwise been overlooked. This also posed a risk of exposure for healthcare workers.

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Published on October 05, 2020
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