Personal protective equipment usage, recycling and disposal among spine surgeons: An Asia Pacific Spine Society survey

J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). Jan-Apr 2021;29(1):2309499020988176. doi: 10.1177/2309499020988176.

Abstract

Purpose: In this study we investigated on the personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, recycling, and disposal among spine surgeons in the Asia Pacific region.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among spine surgeons in Asia Pacific. The questionnaires were focused on the usage, recycling and disposal of PPE.

Results: Two hundred and twenty-two surgeons from 19 countries participated in the survey. When we sub-analysed the differences between countries, the provision of adequate PPE by hospitals ranged from 37.5% to 100%. The usage of PPE was generally high. The most used PPE were surgical face masks (88.7%), followed by surgical caps (88.3%), gowns (85.6%), sterile gloves (83.3%) and face shields (82.0%). The least used PPE were powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) (23.0%) and shoes/boots (45.0%). The commonly used PPE for surgeries involving COVID-19 positive patients were N95 masks (74.8%), sterile gloves (73.0%), gowns (72.1%), surgical caps (71.6%), face shields (64.4%), goggles (64.0%), shoe covers (58.6%), plastic aprons (45.9%), shoes/boots (45.9%), surgical face masks (36.5%) and PAPRs (21.2%). Most PPE were not recycled. Biohazard bins were the preferred method of disposal for all types of PPE items compared to general waste.

Conclusions: The usage of PPE was generally high among most countries especially for surgeries involving COVID-19 positive patients except for Myanmar and Nepal. Overall, the most used PPE were surgical face masks. For surgeries involving COVID-19 positive patients, the most used PPE were N95 masks. Most PPE were not recycled. Biohazard bins were the preferred method of disposal for all types of PPE.

Keywords: Asia Pacific Spine Society; COVID-19; clinic; operation theatre; personal protection equipment; surgery; ward.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Orthopedics*
  • Pandemics
  • Personal Protective Equipment / statistics & numerical data*
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Societies, Medical*
  • Spinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Spinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires