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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-34

The burden of personal protective equipment and its effect on the work efficiency in health-care workers

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
2 Department of ENT, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bhavani Vaidiyanathan
Department of Anaesthesiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_78_22

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Introduction: Personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a necessity in the COVID pandemic for containing, protecting, and preventing the spread of the virus among the health-care workers; however, there are limitations to its use due to its associated adverse effects. The objective is to determine the adverse effects of PPE and its effect on work efficiency in health-care workers. Methods: This is a single-center descriptive cross-sectional survey done among 384 health-care workers by a consecutive sampling method. A semi-structured questionnaire was sent through the Google platform and the data were analyzed using SPSS 20. Results: 79.7% of study participants reported irritability and 59.9% had difficulty reading and writing during working hours in PPE, both factors had a significant association with their work efficiency (P = 0.019, P = 0.031). A feeling of being in a closed tight environment (85.7%), headache (71.95%), difficulty in drawing samples and intravenous cannulation (60.2%), and difficulty in adjusting the ventilatory settings and infusion pumps (39%) were reported by the study participants. However, these factors did not affect their work efficiency. On multivariate analysis, most health-care workers (HCWs) in the intensive care unit had more adverse effects than the others posted in other clinical areas. Conclusion: Our survey has identified several factors affecting HCWs during their working hours. These physical and cognitive adverse effects need to be alleviated to maintain a healthy, productive, and efficient work environment. We need to encourage reporting and find ways to mitigate their difficulties regarding PPE.

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