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Study: Residents short on H1N1 PPE and infection prevention sense

While training as doctors during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, residents in four healthcare facilities showed a lack of knowledge about PPE use and when not to report to work because of illness, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control [1].

“A cluster of influenza-like illness (ILI) among physicians in training” at a Utah medical school and four affiliated hospitals prompted and investigation by NIOSH.

Of the 13 cases if ILI reported among the residents, “10 respondents reported working while ill (duration, 1-4 days),” according to the study.

Knowledge of the recommended PPE to use ranged from 13% to 88% among the residents at the four hospitals. Not knowing, however, which patients had H1N1 of ILI and the unavailability of PPE were the two most common reasons for following PPE recommendations.

PPE compliance with work restrictions knowledge gaps. “underscore the importance of installing isolation precaution signage, making PPE readily available near patients with influenza, and facilitating work restrictions for ill health care personnel,” the study concluded.