Two doctors of a government medical college and the management of a nursing home on Thursday donated “additional protective face gear” to doctors and other health-care providers of MR Bangur Hospital, one of the Covid-19 treatment centres in Calcutta.
The doctors and the nursing home had approached a company that manufactures helmets and asked it to make face shields. The shields, made of fibreglass that is used in helmet visors, have been distributed among 175 doctors and other health workers.
The protective gear covers the entire face, from the forehead till the chin, and is worn in addition to prescribed gear such as N95 masks, goggles, personal protective equipment, gloves and shoe covers.
“Lots of Covid-19 patients and those with symptoms are being treated at MR Bangur Hospital and all health-care workers are being provided with PPE kits. However, these kits do not have good face shields. I was concerned about the partial exposure of the face since a large number of health-care workers are getting infected every day across the world,” said Makhan Lal Saha, the head of the surgery department at SSKM Hospital and governing council member of the Association of Surgeons of India.
Saha and his family, along with Rishav Dev Patra, a paediatric surgeon at SSKM, and the management of Eskag Sanjeevani Multispeciality Hospital, Bagbazar, raised funds for the fibreglass visors .
“The shields were procured in three days. They prevent droplets from infecting health-care workers,” said Saha.
“There are about 600 health-care providers, including doctors, at our hospital. The shields were distributed among 175 of them,” said an official of MR Bangur Hospital.
Saha said he was planning to distribute such shields to all health-care workers in Bengal’s Covid-19 treatment centres. The next point of distribution will be the Infectious Diseases and Beleghata General Hospital.
The Covid-19 task force of doctors, set up by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, will request the state government to provide additional protective gear to health-care workers.
“If a large number of doctors and nurses start getting infected while treating coronavirus patients, the entire system might collapse. Also, even if a small number get infected, the morale of doctors and nurses would be down and the treatment would be affected,” said Sukumar Mukherjee, a physician and member of the task force. “Any additional safety shield which would not compromise treatment is welcome,” he said.
In Spain, which has witnessed the world’s highest reported rate of Covid-19 infection among health-care workers, there have been reports that doctors and nurses are using improvised devices. Doctors have shared images of their colleagues using garbage bags, raincoats and other improvised materials to protect themselves from the virus.
The Union ministry of health has provided a guideline for PPE components that include goggles, face-shield, mask, gloves, coverall/gowns (with or without aprons), head cover and shoe cover.
“Contamination of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth is likely in a scenario of droplets generated by cough, sneeze of an infected person or during aerosol generating procedures carried out in a clinical setting. Inadvertently touching the eyes/nose/mouth with a contaminated hand is another likely scenario. Hence protection of the mucous membranes of the eyes/nose/mouth by using face shields/ goggles is an integral part of standard and contact precautions,” the ministry has said.
Shortage of personal protective equipment, used by doctors and other healthcare workers treating Covid-19 patients, is faced by countries across the world and in many places improvised equipment are being used.
In Spain, where world’s highest reported rate of Covid-19 infection for healthcare workers has been reported till date, there have been reports that doctors and nurses are using improvised devices. Doctors have shared images of their colleagues using garbage bags, raincoats and other improvised materials to protect themselves from the virus.
Source: The Telegraph