Covid-19 test on kids before anaesthesia saves PPE: Study
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Universal COVID-19 testing of children who are having procedures requiring anaesthesia promotes efficient use of personal protective equipment (PPE), according to research being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2020 annual meeting.

Testing can rule out children who would otherwise be suspected of having COVID-19 based on symptoms or possible exposure to the virus.

Ruling out COVID-19 prevents unnecessary use of the extensive PPE recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC-recommended PPE for treating COVID-19 positive patients includes a respirator mask, such as an N95 or PAPR, and a gown, in addition to the standard PPE of surgical mask, eye protection and gloves, which are always worn by health care workers during procedures requiring anesthesia.

For the study, researchers analyzed results of COVID-19 testing in anaesthesia procedures performed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia between March 26 and May 11, 2020.

Overall, 1,033 children were included in the study and 146 children verbally screened positive for at least one of the three criteria.

Without COVID-19 PCR testing, health care providers treating all 146 children would have been required to wear expanded PPE, including an N95 mask or respirator.

However, because their COVID-19 PCR test was negative, 102 of the 146 patients received care with standard PPE, a reduction of 70%.

They also found that 10 children who verbally screened negative for the disease actually tested positive for COVID-19, and may have otherwise been overlooked, increasing health care workers’ risk of exposure.

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