Challenges of personal protective equipment use among ophthalmologists during the COVID-19 pandemic: A multicenter international study.
PURPOSE: To explore the possible challenges and difficulties of using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in ophthalmic practice during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: This is a multicenter, international survey among practicing ophthalmologists across different countries. The survey was conducted from September 9th to October 24th, 2020. It included a total of 23 questions that navigated through the currently adopted recommendations in different clinical situations. The survey also assessed the convenience of using various PPE in ophthalmic practice and addressed the clarity of the examination field while using various PPE during clinical or surgical procedures. RESULTS: One hundred and seventy-two ophthalmologists completed the survey (101 from Egypt, 50 from the USA, and 21 from four other countries). The analysis of the responses showed that most ophthalmologists use face masks without significant problems during their examinations, while face shields followed by protective goggles were the most inconvenient PPE in the current ophthalmic practice. Moreover, most of the participants (133, 77.3%) noticed an increase in their examination time when using PPE. Furthermore, a considerable percentage of the respondents (70, 40.7%) stopped using one or more of the PPE due to inconvenience or discomfort. CONCLUSIONS: Due to the unique nature of the ophthalmic examination, certain PPE are not ophthalmologist-friendly. Innovative PPE should be tailored for prompt, more convenient, and clearer ophthalmological practice.
Ashour, DM; Elkitkat, RS; Gabr, H; Yosef, M; Singh Grewal, D; Saleh, MI
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