Personal protective equipment (PPE) has unquestionably served as a protective barrier for healthcare personnel against the 2019 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, the PPE layers can cause issues such as dehydration, suffocation, shortness of breath, headaches, and rashes, in addition to limiting essential human functions. During the time period March 2021 – May 2021, a cross-sectional study was performed on 180 female health care employees on duty in a tertiary care facility during the spread of COVID-19. To reduce the need for in-person interviews, 180 female health workers (FHWs) from COVID-19 institutions were sent an online survey created with Google Forms and approved for content. In this case, researchers employed the Work-Related Quality of Life Scale (WRQoL). Almost half (48.1%) of the participants were interns, and nearly 2/3rd (63.7%) were between the ages of 21 and 25. Half of the study’s participants wore their PPE for an average of 6-12 hours. More than 90% of the subjects used sanitary napkins. Only 59 out of 180 (32.7%) were provided extra PPE gear during menstruation. Of the 180 FHWs included in the study, 110 (61%) had to remove their PPE equipment due to extreme thirst and dehydration, and 131 (72.7%) had to remove it because of profuse sweating during menstruation. Participants’ most common complaints were sweating (91%), feeling weak (86.7%), breaking out in hives (49.99%), needing to drink constantly (56.5%), experiencing abdominal cramps (53.3%), and having a headache (59.8%). On the WRQoL, the majority of subjects scored poorly. Wearing PPE for extended periods of time, especially during menstruation, can negatively affect a person’s health and well-being, affecting one’s ability to do one’s job and make sound judgment calls. Modifying even a few aspects of the workplace can significantly impact employees’ well-being.

 

Source: journals.lww.com/jfmpc/Fulltext/2022/07000/Impact_of_personal_protective_equipment_on.6.aspx