The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has put an excessive strain on healthcare systems across the globe, causing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is a precious commodity for health personnel to protect them against infections. We investigated the availability of PPE among doctors in the United States (US) and Pakistan.
A cross-sectional study, including doctors from the US and Pakistan, was carried out from April 8 to May 5, 2020. An online self-administered questionnaire was distributed to doctors working in hospitals in the US and Pakistan after a small pilot study. All analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 23.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY).
After informed consent, 574 doctors (60.6% from Pakistan and 39.4% from the US) were included in the analysis. The majority of the participants were females (53.3%), and the mean age of the participants was 35.3 ± 10.3 years. Most doctors (47.7%) were from medicine and allied fields. Among the participants, 87.6% of doctors from the US reported having access to masks/N95 respirators, 79.6% to gloves, 77.9% to faceshields or goggles, and 50.4% to full-suit/gown. Whereas, doctors in Pakistan reported to have poor availability of PPE with only 37.4% having access to masks/N95 respirator, 34.5% to gloves, 13.8% to faceshields or goggles, and 12.9% to full-suit/gown. The reuse of PPE was reported by 80.5% and 60.3% physicians from the US and Pakistan, respectively. More doctors from Pakistan (50.6%) reported that they had been forced to work without PPE compared to doctors in the US (7.1%).
There is a lack of different forms of PPE in the US and Pakistan. Doctors from both countries reported that they had been forced to work without PPE. Compared to the US, more doctors from Pakistan reported having faced discrimination in receiving PPE.
COVID-19, personal protective equipment, PPE, healthcare workers, stop transmission, doctors, physicians, infection, SARS-CoV-2, pandemic
Ahmed J, Malik F, Bin Arif T, Majid Z, Chaudhary MA, Ahmad J, Malik M, Khan TM, Khalid M. Availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Among US and Pakistani Doctors in COVID19 Pandemic. Cureus. 2020; 12(6). doi: 10.7759/cureus.8550.