Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Prehospital and Hospital Emergency Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Prehospital and Hospital Emergency Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Anesthesiology, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Tehran Emergency Medical Service Center, Tehran, Iran

4 School of Medicine, Islamic Azad University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

10.30476/beat.2021.89713

Abstract

Background: Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are at the highest risk of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Adequate access and knowledge about donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE) can decrease the risk of transmission. The aim of this study was to assess the possible factors associated with increasing risk of COVID-19 among EMTs. Methods: This study was a case-control study conducted in Tehran, Iran during 18th February to 20th April 2020. Case group was consisted of confirmed COVID-19 EMTs based on the results of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and/or lung computed tomography scan. Healthy EMTs were randomly selected as control group. Patients were asked to fill out a checklist including demographic data, data related to the work situation (such as number of missions and type of mask and cloth) and PPE precautions. Results: Sixty-eight patients and 148 healthy persons took part in this study as case and control group, respectively. Having two EMTs involved directly in taking care of patients (p=0.001) and working with a confirmed case teammate (p=0.001), considering the precautions such as seal check after wearing the mask (p=0.015), covering the hair with a medical hat (p=0.001), not using personal items despite protective clothing (p=0.001), and avoiding contact with the outer surface of clothing while removing (p=0.001) had significant difference in two groups. Conclusion: We found that the type of used face masks (the surgical mask) and the type of used cloths (using NW (disposable, one-piece, non-waterproof protective cloth)) are correlated with the higher risk of COVID-19 in EMTs

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