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Open AccessArticle

Personal Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Realities and Perspectives of Healthcare Workers in Latin America

Division of Cardiology, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G2N5, Canada
Division of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Services and Technology of Guatemala—Cardiosolutions, Guatemala 01010, Guatemala
Division of Cardiology, Olivos Clinic, Buenos Aires B16022ABQ, Argentina
Division of Cardiology, Sanatorio Güemes, Buenos Aires C1188AAF, Argentina
Cardiometabolic Unit, Instituto Médico La Floresta, Caracas 1090, Venezuela
Tropical Cardiology Central, University of Venezuela, Caracas 1060, Venezuela
Division of Cardiology, Kingston Health Science Center, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L2V7, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
On Behalf of the COVID-19 Working Group of the Interamerican Society of Cardiology.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2798;
Received: 8 April 2020 / Revised: 14 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 April 2020 / Published: 18 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Healthcare workers exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) may not have adequate access to personal protective equipment (PPE), safety procedures, and diagnostic protocols. Our objective was to evaluate the reality and perceptions about personal safety among healthcare workers in Latin America. This is a cross-sectional, online survey-based study administered to 936 healthcare professionals in Latin America from 31 March 2020 to 4 April 2020. A 12-item structured questionnaire was developed. A total of 936 healthcare workers completed the online survey. Of them, 899 (95.1%) were physicians, 28 (2.9%) were nurses, and 18 (1.9%) were allied health professionals. Access to protective equipment was as follows: gel hand sanitizer (n = 889; 95%), disposable gloves (n = 853; 91.1%), disposable gowns (n = 630; 67.3%), disposable surgical masks (785; 83.9%), N95 masks (n = 516; 56.1%), and facial protective shields (n = 305; 32.6%). The vast majority (n = 707; 75.5%) had access to personal safety policies and procedures, and 699 (74.7%) participants had access to diagnostic algorithms. On a 1-to-10 Likert scale, the participants expressed limited human resources support (4.92 ± 0.2; mean ± SD), physical integrity protection in the workplace (5.5 ± 0.1; mean ± SD), and support from public health authorities (5.01 ± 0.12; mean ± SD). Healthcare workers in Latin America had limited access to essential PPE and support from healthcare authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; Latin America; healthcare; safety coronavirus; Latin America; healthcare; safety
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Delgado, D.; Wyss Quintana, F.; Perez, G.; Sosa Liprandi, A.; Ponte-Negretti, C.; Mendoza, I.; Baranchuk, A. Personal Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Realities and Perspectives of Healthcare Workers in Latin America. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2798.

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