ICU doctors should use double layer protection to prevent COVID-19: Experts

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New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Since the COVID-19 crisis has gripped India, reports of doctors’ deaths due to coronavirus has remained a major concern among stakeholders and decision makers.
While many believe that this is due to the shortage of protective gear, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has repeatedly clarified that the PPEs are available in adequate quantity.
Throwing light on the same, Dr Balwinder Arora, Medical Superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital said, “the doctors are in close contact with the patients in the ICU where the density of the virus particles in the air increases and hence it hikes the risks of contraction. The virus in the air sometimes gets stuck with the PPEs and when doctors take out the kit sometime they get contracted with the virus.”
Dr Arora advised that healthcare professional working close to the patients in near proximity like ICUs should use two layers of protective gear in order to stay safe.
“My advice to doctors working in high risk environment is to use double masks and gloves in order to prevent themselves from getting contracted. Secondly, I would emphasise on the hygiene and advise that everyone including the doctors should wash their hands and face thoroughly for at least 20 seconds,” he said.
Speaking over the same issue, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) told IANS, “Doctors are always at a higher risk as they are in close contact with the patients. The virus load increases when the patient reaches the ICUs.”
He added, “Though the doctors take up all possible measures but there are times when immediate steps are required. For example, if you have a sick patient who crashes, the doctors don’t get time to be prepared and that’s where such mishaps happen. It is because for us the patients are most important and in line of duty they first think of patient’s welfare.”

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