COVID-19 research briefs: Personal protective equipment prevents transmission of COVID-19 in Chinese healthcare workers

Daily POEMs

Published: 2020-08-15 © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Clinical question
Can personal protective equipment protect healthcare workers who are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 from developing COVID-19?

Bottom line
Healthcare workers in Wuhan who were wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when exposed to SARS-CoV-2 did not become infected. (LOE = 2c)

Liu M, Cheng S-Z, Xu K-W, et al. Use of personal protective equipment against coronavirus disease 2019 by healthcare professionals in Wuhan, China: cross sectional study. BMJ 2020;369:m2195. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2195

Study design: Cross-sectional

Funding source: Unknown/not stated

Setting: Inpatient (any location)

Research Brief #44: These authors followed 420 healthcare workers who were "on loan" to Wuhan from two hospitals in Guangzhou. For 6 weeks, the healthcare providers worked 4 to 6 hours per day for an average of 5.4 days per week. On average, they worked about 16 hours per week in intensive care units. All had direct contact with patients and reported at least one aerosol-inducing encounter. All of them wore PPE: the full body armor of masks, goggles, face shields, gowns, gloves, and so forth. On returning home, they were quarantined for t2 weeks and tested. None developed symptoms of COVID-19, none had a positive polymerase chain reaction result, and none had IgG or IgM antibodies.

Henry C. Barry, MD, MS
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Copyright © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.