Assessment of COVID-19 Safety Precautions in Radio-diagnostic Centers in Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Background: The risk of exposure of patients and radiation workers to COVID-19 infection during radiologic investigations is of immense concern. The study is aimed to assess COVID-19 safety precautions in radio-diagnostic centers in Port-Harcourt.
Method: The study was a prospective survey using a self-administered questionnaire consisting of three segments which include level of knowledge of the COVID-19, availability of infection prevention and control protocol, and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) in 27 radio-diagnostic centres with 5 respondents from each center in Port Harcourt metropolis. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 21.0 and presented in tables and charts.
Results: Majority of the respondents have basic knowledge about COVID-19 with reference to causative agent 88.15% (n=119), mode of infection 100% (n=135), diagnosis and symptoms 100% (n=135). There is no facility based focal person in-charge of COVID-19 related matters in majority 96.30% (n=130) of the centres. Most centres do not have standard infection prevention and control protocol. No center has a dedicated ultrasound or radiographic machine for suspected or COVID-19 patients. Notwithstanding, the availability of running water, soap and hand sanitizers; regular decontamination of surfaces and seats in some facilities were not implemented.
Conclusion: There was unavailability of some PPE like the hazmat suite in many facilities. COVID-19 safety precautions were grossly suboptimal resulting from significant deficiency in policy implementation. This inadequacy in the face of the pandemic was a concern and provision of more PPE’s, implementation of adequate IPC is advocated and recommended to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infection.
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