SOP for Medical and Paramedics for Covid-19
Perception of Medical and Paramedical Staff in regard of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of Covid-19
Muhammad Iqbal Afridi1, Javed Akbar Dars1, Jamil Junejo2, Kamran Ali Tunio1, Muhammad Yaqoob Shahani3 and Chooni Lal Katariya1
Objective: The current study accessed the observance of SOPs especially the mask related, personal, and social factors that discourage medical and paramedical staff from using face masks.
Study Design: Observational, Cross-Sectional Study
Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted at the Departments of Psychiatry, JPMC, Karachi and Psychiatry / Anatomy, LUM&DC, Jamshoro from March to August 2020.
Materials and Methods: All healthcare professionals who gave electronic consent and had internet access were included in the study. Due to the government-ordered lock down, an online semi-structured questionnaire was developed using Google forms to collect data. The socio demographic characteristics, past medical or surgical history, recent infection, which was followed by knowledge about coronavirus and attitude toward masks were recorded in a predesigned questionnaire. All data was analyzed using SPSS v 24.
Results: The mean age (SD) was 34.3 (10.25) years. The majority of the health-care workers wore masks at the workplace (97%). 1% of doctors who always wore face masks claimed that the mask displaces spectacles, 4% reported that it interferes with communication, 5.9% reported that it is not always available. 12.9% doctors did not experience any problem. Those who confessed to not wearing masks at the workplace, felt suffocated (16.8%), mask hurt their ears (7.9%), or mask interfered with their prescription spectacles (5%).
Conclusion: The current study indicated that the majority of the healthcare workers wore masks at the workplace and only a few percentages of participants faced a problem due to a face mask. The knowledge about face masks and its correct usage are important to mitigate negative attitudes.
Key Words: pandemic, epidemic, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, surgical mask, prevention
Citation of article: Afridi MI, Dars JA, Junejo J, Tunio KA, Shahani MY, Katariya CL. Perception of Medical and Paramedical Staff in regard of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of Covid-19. Med Forum 2021;32(1):81-85.
1. Department of Psychiatry, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center, Karachi.
2. Department of Psychiatry / Anatomy3, Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences Jamshoro.
Correspondence: Dr. Muhammad Yaqoob Shahani, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences Jamshoro.
Contact No: 0336-8506956
Received: October, 2020
Accepted: December, 2020
Printed: January, 2021
Early on, the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak happened in Wuhan city of Hubei Province of China in people exposed to live animal markets, which had suggested animal-to-human transmission as a source of origin. 2 Subsequently, the spilling of COVID-19 from the epicenter to the people, with no exposure to animal markets, globally suggested human-to-human spread.2-3
United States health officials have suggested two main transmission routes for the COVID-19: 1) person to person transmission and 2) contact transmission. 3 On a person to person transmission, the virus could spread: Through respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). These droplets may land in the mouths or nose of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Moreover, the contact transmission involves the spread through touching contaminated surfaces then touching one's mouth, nose, or eyes.
As of October 2020, there have been a total of 36361054 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1056186 confirmed deaths globally.4 Out of these, a total of 317,595 confirmed cases, and 6,552 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths occurred in Pakistan. 5 The COVID-19 may range from being asymptomatic to fatal. The symptoms, if they appear, are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. 4 Sometimes, however, aches and pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea may also be present. Its prognosis worsens with old age and the underlying comorbidities that may weaken the immune system. 4-6
Owing to the highly infectious nature of SARS-CoV-2, the community is in great risk especially the Frontline workers including the health care personnel as they deal directly with diseased persons therefore, they are most likely to be exposed to the virus. 5
Their nature of work does not allow them to observe standard procedures of social distancing to keep themselves at bay from getting infected. However, the practices of wearing a mask, washing hands with soap or sanitizing them, and wearing personalized protective equipment if necessary, are the methods that could
help healthcare workers to prevent themselves from COVID-19.
This article specifically focuses on the attitude of healthcare workers toward mask in this COVID-19 Pandemic.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
All participants who gave an electronic consent, had internet access, were health-care workers, aged 18 years or older were included in the study. The participants were redirected to google forms where the questionnaire was to be filled. The questionnaire collected information on the socio demographic characteristics, body mass index, history linked to psychiatric, medical or surgical significance, recent infection in oneself or within the family, substance use history, followed by knowledge about coronavirus and attitude toward masks. The recipients of the link were encouraged to forward the link to their contacts in the snow-ball style of sampling.
There were questions with short typing answers, the best choice from various options, ticking multiple options for multiple responses. The data was analyzed using SPSS v 26, after collection of data of 101 respondents using descriptive statistics. Mean, standard deviation, and frequencies/proportions have been used to analyze the data. The findings were presented in tables and graphs.
Data of 101 healthcare workers were collected using the online platform of Google forms. Out of these 101 respondents, 67 were male, and 34 were females. The mean age (SD) was 34.3 (10.25) years. Other socio-demographic characteristics are represented in table 1. The study population was diverse belonging to different ethnicities and religions.
Table No.1: Socio-demographic characteristics of Study Population (n=101)
20.8% have had a history of medical illness in the past year, and 5% had a history of psychiatric illness. Moreover, 10.9% had a history of recent infection, and 9.9% had a history of infection within the immediate family in the past two weeks from the date of administration of the questionnaire (table 1).
Upon assessing the awareness about coronavirus, we found that only 1% of respondents did not know about how the coronavirus spread, and also 1% of respondents felt no need to wear a mask. Moreover, 6.9% did not know if the mask could prevent them or others from getting infected. See table 2 for details.
The majority of the health-care workers wore masks. Upon assessing the issues among participants who always wore the masks, faced while wearing the masks, it was found that in 1% mask displaced spectacles, 4% reported that it interferes with communication, 5.9% reported that it is not available, 6.9% complained about shape, 7.9% complained about its tightness and 12.9% people experienced no problem at all, however, 3% unspecified any issue with the mask (Table 3). The responses of those who responded that they do not wear a mask all the time are also presented in table 3.
Table No.2: Awareness and Practice of Wearing Mask among Study Participants
Does wearing a mask prevent you from getting infection?
No Problem Faced
Table No.3: Mask-related, personal, and social issues pertaining to wearing mask as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19 infection
Three percent of the participants who did not wear the mask claimed that they do not like to wear it, 16.8% felt suffocated, 7.9% claimed that the mask hurt their ears, 5% claimed that it interfered with their eyesight glasses, among other reasons. Social reasons revealed that 2% of participants felt ashamed, 1% reported that people might make fun, while 97% of participants didn't face any problem (Figure 1). Besides, 51.5% reported that the patients might feel uncomfortable if the healthcare professional did not wear a mask.
Figure No.1: Social Problems faced by Study Participants when wearing Masks in Public
A total of 101 responses were received from healthcare workers. Majority of the participants wore masks all the time or most of the time. However, there were some who did not wear the mask all the time or wore it only occasionally.
Post-covid-19 world has pushed the world to a new form of world order. Fashion industry may not be an exception to it. The mask has become a new norm. Despite that, some healthcare professionals faced social issues with wearing masks.16-18 Astonishingly, as many as 48.5% of the healthcare professionals believed that the patients may not be feeling uncomfortable if they do not wear a mask. This may point to the lack of knowledge about how corona virus may spread in the general population, or, trivialization of the threat it poses as pandemic. It put more responsibility on healthcare professionals to sensitize and impart knowledge about COVID-19 among their patients.
The attitude toward masks has been defined by several reasons among healthcare professionals. The knowledge about masks and its correct usage are important to mitigate negative attitudes. Moreover, the mask related industry may also come up with user friendly masks that may overcome the problems faced by the consumers specially healthcare professionals.
Concept & Design of Study:
Muhammad Iqbal Afridi
Javed Akbar Dars, Jamil Junejo
Kamran Ali Tunio, Muhammad Yaqoob Shahani and Chooni Lal Katariya
Muhammad Iqbal Afridi, Javed Akbar Dars
Final Approval of version:
Muhammad Iqbal Afridi
Conflict of Interest: The study has no conflict of interest to declare by any author.
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