PPE Misuse and its Effect on Infectious Disease Among EMS in Saudi Arabia
Keywords:PPE misuse, disaster medicine
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responders provide medical services in diverse, unique and dangerous environments. EMS provides care to diverse and mobile populations who are likely to contract infectious diseases. In addition to responding to the emergency situations, the EMS are also attending to the homeless, trauma victims and nursing home patients in addition to critically ill patients with diverse diseases and infections. Like most healthcare professionals, EMS responders are faced with increased exposure to infectious conditions. As a result, they are concerned with their safety and preventive measures against any infection. The aim of this study is to assess whether EMS follows the standard guidelines provided by the Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) to avoid being infected. Using the standard SRCA observational tool, EMS Red Crescent workers in various stations, EMS station 1 (17 paramedics), EMS station 2 (11 paramedics) and EMS station 3 (16 paramedics), were observed on whether they follow the provided standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines to avoid being infected whether by MERS or other diseases. The results indicate that most of the EMS staff did not implement the PPE standard procedure or failed to demonstrate the skills on the application of the standards. Failure to follow the safety standards and guidelines is the main cause of infections among the EMS staff (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018). Therefore, there is need to provide comprehensive training on the standard guidelines and safety measures to prevent the occurrences of infections among the EMS workforce.
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