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Determination of the effect of prophylactic dressing on the prevention of skin injuries associated with personal protective equipments in health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Yıldız, Aybala1
  • Karadağ, Ayişe2
  • Yıldız, Alp1
  • Çakar, Vildan3
  • 1 Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Yenimahalle Training and Research Hospital, Department of General Surgery, Ankara, Turkey. , (Turkey)
  • 2 Koc University, School of Nursing, Istanbul, Turkey. , (Turkey)
  • 3 Koc University, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Turkey)
Published Article
Journal of tissue viability
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtv.2020.10.005
PMID: 33187790


The present study was carried out as a comparative observational study in order to determine the effect of prophylactic dressing on the prevention of skin injuries due to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care workers (HCWs) working with COVID-19 patients. In addition, the effect of nasal strip on the prevention of discomfort in breathing with mask was also investigated. The present study was carried out with 48 HCWs (Control Group-CG, n = 20; Experimental Group 1-EG1, n = 20; Experimental Group 2-EG2, n = 8) who use PPE on the face region and work with COVID-19 patients. Data was collected with Data Collection Form developed by researchers. In participants in CG, normal procedures of the institution in using PPE were followed. In EG1, prophylactic dressing was used on risky areas on the face. In EG2, nasal strip sticky on one side was used in addition to prophylactic dressing. The evaluation of the facial skin was made once a day by a researcher with expertise in wound management. Groups were similar in terms of demographic characteristics of participants. Overall rate of skin injuries associated with PPE use was 47.9%. Skin injuries developed in all participants in CG (n = 20), and in two and one participants in EG1 and EG2 respectively, with significant difference between groups. The most common skin injuries were Stage 1 pressure injury (29.2%), blanchable erythema of intact skin (27.1%) and itching (18.8%). No participant in EG2 reported discomfort in breathing (n = 8). Significant difference was found between groups in favor of EG2 in terms of experiencing discomfort in breathing (p < 0.001). In the present study, it was established that using prophylactic dressing under PPE prevents skin injuries on the facial skin and using nasal strip prevents discomfort in breathing with mask. In view of these results, it was recommended that prophylactic dressing should be used under PPE. Copyright © 2020 Tissue Viability Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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