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Exposure of Health Staff to COVID-19 Infection: Causes and Recommendations for Reduction of Exposure

Authors:

S. C. Wickramasinghe ,

LK
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V. U. E. Perera,

LK
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A. Wickramasinghe,

LK
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S. V. Rajasinghe,

LK
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A. M. U. Prabha Kumari,

LK
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N. Fernando

LK
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Abstract

Introduction: The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) spreads predominantly between people who are in close contact with an infected person. Hence, the frontline health staff members are more vulnerable for exposure due to rising number of cases.

 

Objectives: To describe the possible causes for exposure of health staff in Sri Lanka for COVID-19 infection and to review suggestions made by health staff for minimizing such exposure.

 

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2020 to December 2020. A self administered questionnaire was given to health staff when they were admitted to a quarantine center and collected on discharge or transfer. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics.

 

Results and discussion: There were 80 participants with a response rate of 100%. Majority (n=79, 98.8%) were exposed to a confirmed/suspected case within their health institution and most ( 60%; n=48) were exposed within the ward they work.

 

Source of exposure was mostly a patient (55%; n=44) or a staff member(33.7%;n=27). At the time of exposure, majority wore only a facemask (n=43, 53.8%).

 

Shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), inadequate training on infection control, incorrect contact history provided by patients were stated as the main causes (75%) of exposure. 38% of health staff members share meals with their colleagues at workplace. Conclusions and Recommendations: All staff categories should be provided with necessary PPE. Regular training programs on infection control need to be conducted covering all staff categories. A suitable arrangement to take meals individually must be developed.
How to Cite: Wickramasinghe, S.C., Perera, V.U.E., Wickramasinghe, A., Rajasinghe, S.V., Prabha Kumari, A.M.U. and Fernando, N., 2021. Exposure of Health Staff to COVID-19 Infection: Causes and Recommendations for Reduction of Exposure. Sri Lankan Journal of Medical Administration, 22(1), pp.10–14. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljma.v22i1.5354
Published on 20 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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