Experiences of wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when examining patients

Author: Kelly Judith

3. Examinations involving Covid19 positive patients

Ready to X-ray COVID positive patient

These examinations obviously require the maximum PPE to be worn and staff report similar experiences to those felt with the lesser PPE but with a particular emphasis on how incredibly hot they become. Communications to patients and between colleagues again is very challenging. The most extreme physical impact has been significant facial bruising and skin reactions caused by the rigid protectors when these are worn for quite long periods of time, for example in operating theatres or on the ward when caring for very sick patients in Intensive Care.

Staff are fearful of causing contamination during the doffing of PPE after dealing with such patients and therefore it is important to perform this systematically, according to the guidance and without rushing.

A final point – the incessant hand washing often causes very dry irritated skin and consequently an effective hand cream is essential!