As health care systems struggle to maintain adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, there is confusion and anxiety among obstetricians and others about how to best protect themselves, their coworkers, and their patients. Although use of personal protective equipment is a critical strategy to protect health care personnel from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), other strategies also need to be implemented on labor and delivery units to reduce the risk of health care-associated transmission, including screening of all pregnant women who present for care (case identification), placing a mask on and rapidly isolating ill pregnant women, and minimizing the number of personnel who enter the room of an ill patient (physical distancing). Although the mechanism of transmission of COVID-19 is not known with certainty, current evidence suggests that COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through respiratory droplets. Therefore, strict adherence to hand hygiene and consistent use of recommended personal protective equipment are cornerstones for reducing transmission. In addition, it is critical that health care professionals receive training on and practice correct donning (putting on) and doffing (removing) of personal protective equipment and avoid touching their faces as well as their facial protection to minimize self-contamination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology