Staff at Sahlgrenska Hospital have been told that you do not need a mask when working with covid 19 patients, something that goes against the recommendations from the Swedish Public Health Agency. But state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell downplays the danger.
The Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendation states that “liquid-repellent masks in combination with visors or goggles constitute adequate barrier protection for care personnel in connection with both sampling and care”.
But state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell points out that the recommendation is completely dependent on where staff are in the care of patients.
– If you work very close to covid 19 patients, as you do if, for example, you need to run tubes down the throat and the like, you should of course use protection. Because it’s a dangerous job. But if you only stay in the same area as the patients, you can have significantly less protection, he says.
– It’s about how we should adapt the routines better to the new knowledge we have about this disease. We have learned a lot in a short time. In general, the very extensive protection measures we had in the beginning can be greatly reduced.
Because it basically only spreads if you get a such a drop in you? [sic]
– Yes. Staff who actually work in the airways of such patients need full protection, but others in a ward with infected patients may have a very much lower level.