Heat stress and PPE during COVID-19: impact on healthcare workers' performance, safety and well-being in NHS settings

S. L. Davey, B. J. Lee, T. Robbins, H. Randeva, C. D. Thake

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    72 Citations (Scopus)
    76 Downloads (Pure)


    Personal protective equipment (PPE) can potentiate heat stress, which may have a negative impact on the wearer's performance, safety and well-being. In view of this, a survey was distributed to healthcare workers (HCWs) required to wear PPE during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in the UK to evaluate perceived levels of heat stress and its consequences. Respondents reported experiencing several heat-related illness symptoms, and heat stress impaired both cognitive and physical performance. The majority of respondents stated that wearing PPE made their job more difficult. These, and additional, responses suggest that modification to current working practices is required urgently to improve the resilience of HCWs to wearing PPE during pandemics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-188
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
    Early online date7 Dec 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Hospital Infection. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Hospital Infection, 108, (2021)
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.11.027

    © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


    • COVID-19
    • Extreme environments
    • Healthcare workers
    • Heat stress
    • Heat-related illness
    • Personal protective equipment
    • SARS-CoV-2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases


    Dive into the research topics of 'Heat stress and PPE during COVID-19: impact on healthcare workers' performance, safety and well-being in NHS settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this