More PPE education needed for health care workers, study suggests

Ottawa – Some health care workers may not be wearing personal protective equipment in pediatric units and are failing to remove PPE properly, according to a new study published online Oct. 15 in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers studied 11 hospitals in early 2011 by observing and recording health care workers’ selection and use of PPE, as well as hand hygiene in the rooms of patients with febrile respiratory illness, according to the study abstract. They found that although the majority of health care workers wear PPE, workers in pediatric units were less likely to wear eye protection, a gown, gloves or a mask. Additionally, 54 percent of workers overall removed PPE in the correct order.

Adherence to appropriate PPE use in these settings was modest, concluded researchers, who suggested that intervention efforts to improve use focus on recommended precautions, pediatric units, proper hand hygiene and correct PPE sequence removal.

The targeted hospitals were participating in the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, which provides rates and trends on infections at health care facilities.

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