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PPE Really Works!

July 7, 2020

Written by Clay Smith

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No healthcare workers dispatched to Wuhan who worked with COVID-19 patients became ill during or after their 6-8 week tour of duty. All were provided adequate and appropriate PPE.

Why does this matter?
COVID-19 is dangerous. Does PPE really mitigate the risk for healthcare workers?

Don’t poo-poo PPE
This is a report of a natural experiment in which 420 healthcare providers were dispatched from a part of China with almost no COVID-19 into the hottest spots of Wuhan during the outbreak. All worked in the ICU at some point. All worked with COVID-19 positive patients, and all had at least one exposure to an aerosol-generating procedure. They were trained in use of and provided adequate PPE. Standard PPE consisted of: “protective suits, masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, and gowns.” None of them became ill while in Wuhan nor did any test positive after returning home from the 6-8 week stint in Wuhan.

Use of personal protective equipment against coronavirus disease 2019 by healthcare professionals in Wuhan, China: cross sectional study. BMJ. 2020 Jun 10;369:m2195. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m2195.

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2 thoughts on “PPE Really Works!

  • I think one needs to pay attention to what they are actually wearing in China. Video demonstrations show multiple Tyvek suits, multiple layers of foot and hand coverings, head covering, goggles, impervious gowns, and face shields; clearly more than what we are typically using for routine encounters.

What are your thoughts?