Mexico City / 06.29.2021 07:21:41
A Cambridge study has shown a significant drop in covid-19 infections on frontline hospital staff after their face masks or masks were updated.
The findings were reported by a team from the University of Cambridge NHS Foundation and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH).
Since the beginning of the pandemic, its staff have been screened for the virus, including those without symptoms. The data was used to track infection rates in the first wave of the pandemic and showed that staff caring for covid patients had a much higher risk of infection compared to staff in non-covid wards, even when wearing the recommended mask.
As a result, in December 2020, the hospital changed its respiratory protective equipment for all front-line personnel from FRSM (Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks) to FFP3 masks.
Once in place, they provide a tight seal around the nose and mouth, to prevent airborne infections from being inhaled and exhaled.
After upgrading to the masks, the study found that hospital-acquired infection rates for those working in covid wards decreased by as much as 100 percent.
“Once the FFP3 mask, the number of cases attributed to exposure in covid rooms was drastically reduced, “he noted Chris Illingworth of the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Mark Ferris of the University of Cambridge Occupational Health Service, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Based on data collected during the second wave of the pandemic, we developed a mathematical model to analyze the risks faced by staff dealing with COVID patients on a day-to-day basis. This showed us the huge effect that the use of better personal protective equipment could have to reduce the risk for health workers ”.
According to their model, the risk of direct infection from working in a non-covid room was low throughout the study period and consistently lower than the risk from community exposure.
In contrast, the risk of direct infection from working in a covid room before changing respiratory protective equipment was 47 times higher than the risk from community exposure.