Personal protective equipment and antiviral drug use during hospitalization for suspected avian or pandemic influenza

Ashwin Swaminathan, Rhea Martin, Sandi Gamon, Craig Aboltins, Eugene Athan, George Braitberg, Michael Catton, Louise Cooley, Dominic Dwyer, Deidre Edmonds, Damon Eisen, Kelly Hosking, Andrew J Hughes, Paul Johnson, A Maclean, Erica Peters, Rhonda Stuart, Rodney Moran, M Lindsay Grayson, Mary O'Reilly

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For pandemic influenza planning, realistic estimates of personal protective equipment (PPE) and antiviral medication required for hospital healthcare workers (HCWs) are vital. In this simulation study, a patient with suspected avian or pandemic influenza (API) sought treatment at 9 Australian hospital emergency departments where patient-staff interactions during the first 6 hours of hospitalization were observed. Based on World Health Organization definitions and guidelines, the mean number of close contacts of the API patient was 12.3 (range 6-17; 85 HCWs); mean exposures were 19.3 (range 15-26). Overall, 20-25 PPE sets were required per patient, with variable HCW compliance for wearing these items (93 N95 masks, 77 gowns, 83 gloves, and 73 eye protection). Up to 41 of HCW close contacts would have qualified for postexposure antiviral prophylaxis. These data indicate that many current national stockpiles of PPE and antiviral medication are likely inadequate for a pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1541 - 1547
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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