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

Abstract

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
Volume108
Early online date7 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the participants who volunteered their time to participate in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Healthcare Infection Society

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • 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

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