- Royal College of Anaesthetists seeks to clarify PPE situation for theatre teams
- Has found trusts seeking to reduce requirements, as they look to return more elective surgery
- College also addresses concerns the guidance could be misinterpreted
Some hospitals have sought to water down PPE requirements in order to “accelerate” the return of planned surgery, senior doctors have said, as they issued new guidance aiming to inform the decision.
The Royal College of Anaesthetists, along with partners including the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, released a document to members (see attached) to tackle “marked uncertainty amongst operating theatre team members as to which infection prevention and control precautions should be taken when treating screened patients in planned surgical pathways”.
The document provides recommendations for teams on how to adjust PPE usage, which the college said was “supportive and consistent” with current Public Health England guidance.
Requirements on what PPE is used for different situations, and how, may be a major restraint on resuming planned care, because its use can be time consuming — limiting workload per team — as well as stretching the supply of PPE items.
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Date: 29 June 2020