Frontline healthcare workers at greater risk of coronavirus despite PPE

Henrietta Brewer
August 3, 2020

The healthcare workers wth proper equipment are still at 3.4 times the risk of contracting the virus compared to the general public, the study found and the minority healthcare workers are even at a much higher risk.

They discovered more than 2,700 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 health care workers compared to simply over 240 cases per 100,000 amongst the basic population.

The voluntary organisation also intends to provide longer-term psychological, educational and practical support for frontline healthcare workers, their children and families who have been negatively impacted by Covid-19.

The front-line healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) have a three-fold increased risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, compared to the general population, as per the new research.

African American, Latino and other minority care suppliers were 5 times more most likely to agreement Covid-19 than their White equivalents, the study discovered.


Healthcare workers who reported reusing PPE were nearly 1.5 times more likely to report a positive COVID-19 test than those with adequate equipment.

Chan said the research builds on initial estimates that frontline healthcare workers could account for 10 to 20 per cent of all virus diagnoses. Among the users, 2, 627, 695 participants are in the United Kingdom, 182, 408 are in the USA and 134, 885 (4.8%) participants are frontline healthcare workers.

The greatest healthcare worker COVID-19 risk was observed in those with confirmed COVID-19 without adequate PPE-at a almost six-fold greater rate than healthcare workers with adequate PPE who were not exposed to positive patients.

Participant wellness was gauged at the outset of the study, with prompts on individual symptoms and whether or not they had been tested for COVID-19-and what the results were.

"In particular we note that that the BAME community experience elevated risk of infection and in some cases lack access to adequate PPE, or frequently reuse equipment", Ourselin added. We have seen high numbers of cases of Covid-19 in healthcare workers around the country, and it remains a prevalent threat to workers in the sector.


"Many countries, including the USA, continue to face vexing shortages of PPE", Chang said.

According to the data, healthcare workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds were more likely to test positive.

"Our results underscore the importance of providing adequate access to PPE and also suggest that systemic racism associated with inequalities to access PPE likely contribute to the disproportionate risk of infection among minority frontline healthcare workers", said senior author Andrew Chan, of Massachusetts General Hospital. Black, Asian, and minority ethnic healthcare workers appeared to be disproportionately affected, with a almost twofold higher risk compared with white healthcare workers. For non-Hispanic white healthcare workers, the risk was just 3.5 times greater than the general community.

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Mary Leahy, CEO of Heroes-Aid said: 'PPE is a vital resource for frontline workers, as it forms the main barrier between healthcare workers and Covid-19. "Ensuring access to, and appropriate use of, high-quality PPE across care settings would help mitigate these disparities".


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