A new study of medical staff treating COVID-19-infected patients found 42.8% experienced serious skin injury related to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, goggles, face shields, and protective gowns. Researchers concluded that the skin injuries put staff at increased risk of infection, with insufficient prevention and treatment measures in place, according to the study published in Advances in Wound Care, a monthly peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.
The article entitled "The Prevalence, Characteristics and Prevention Status of Skin Injury Caused by Personal Protective Equipment Among Medical Staff in Fighting COVID-19: A Multi-Center, Cross-Sectional Study" was coauthored by Qixia Jiang, Nanjing University School of Medicine (Nanjing, China) and a large team of Chinese clinicians. The researchers identified three main types of PPE-related skin injuries: device-related pressure injuries; moist associated skin damage; skin tear. Several factors increased the risk for skin injury: heavy sweating, greater daily wearing time, being male, and using grade 3 versus grade 2 PPE.
These significant findings are consistent with independent observations in Europe and United States, and call for systematic studies addressing skin injury and repair in COVID-19+ patients as well as in their healthcare providers."
Chandan K. Sen, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, Distinguished Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Executive Director of Indiana University Health Comprehensive Wound Center, Indianapolis, IN.
Jiang, Q., et al. (2020) The prevalence, characteristics and prevention status of skin injury caused by personal protective equipment among medical staff in fighting COVID-19: A multi-center, cross-sectional study. Advances in Wound Care. doi.org/10.1089/wound.2020.1212.