A survey of personal protective equipment use among US otolaryngologists during the COVID-19 pandemic

Karina Yu*, Alan G. Micco, Elisabeth Ference, Joshua M. Levy, Stephanie Shintani Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Describe current practices and challenges in personal protective equipment (PPE) use among US otolaryngologists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Study design: Online survey. Setting: Academic and non-academic healthcare institutions. Subjects and methods: Subjects included US otolaryngology physicians. Emails were sent on April 17, 2020 to program coordinators at 121 residency programs, who were requested to forward the email to program directors for distribution. Further recruitment occurred through snowball recruitment. The survey was closed on June 15, 2020. Results: Sixty-one participants completed the survey. 95.1% reported routine access to full PPE (N95 ± powered air purifying respirator [PAPR], gown, gloves, eye protection) for aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) in COVID-19 patients, while 68.9% had routine access to full PPE for AGPs in patients without confirmed COVID-19. 88.5% had routine access to full PPE for potential aerosol-generating procedures (pAGPs) in COVID patients, while 80.3% had routine access to full PPE for pAGPs in patients without confirmed COVID. All participants felt that they “always” or “usually” had necessary PPE to safely perform procedures and surgeries on COVID patients. 83.6% received N95 fitting in the past year, and 93.4% reported adequate PPE training. Conclusion: The majority of participants reported routine access to full PPE for AGPs and pAGPs in all patients, regardless of COVID status. There was a high perception of security, as well as adequate N95 fitting and PPE training. Areas for improvement include: optimizing PPE availability for AGPs in patients without confirmed COVID and wider recognition of otolaryngologic procedures as high risk for aerosolization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102735
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Personal protective equipment
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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