Brief Report| Volume 49, ISSUE 10, P1322-1323, October 2021

PPE training and the effectiveness of universal masking in preventing exposures: The importance of the relationship between anesthesia and infection prevention

  • Jay Sanford
    Address correspondence to: Dr. Jay Sanford, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Department of Anesthesiology, 550 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
    Division of Pre-Operative Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
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  • Jill Holdsworth
    Address correspondence to Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, NREMT, CRCST, Office of Quality, Emory University Hospital Midtown, 550 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
    Department of Infection Prevention, Emory University Hospital, Midtown. Atlanta, GA
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      Early in the pandemic, infection prevention (IP), in collaboration with our local anesthesia leadership, took the approach of ensuring all members of the Anesthesia Department understood the importance of universal masking, were individually trained on the use of the Controlled Air Purifier Respirator, as well the appropriate method for donning/doffing N95 respirators. Multiple providers in the department tested positive for COVID, resulting in the IP Department to conduct the routine contact tracing investigation. During the investigation, it was determined that all persons who met the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) contact exposure guidelines would undergo COVID testing, which consequently was 109 team members due to the exposure risk identified in the break room space. IP worked with the Anesthesia Preoperative Clinic to test all team members identified over a 3-day period (approximately 5-7 days postexposure). Out of the 109 team members who were tested postexposure, there were 0 conversions. The department attributes this to the consistency in personal protective equipment training, support and collaboration between anesthesia and IP which led to successful care for COVID patients with a limited provider infection rate.

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