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Global Health
February 15, 2022

Poorly Designed PPE a Global Problem for Women Health Workers

JAMA. 2022;327(7):614. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.0438

Women health care workers around the globe report that ill-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) hinders their work and leaves them feeling “expendable,” according to results of a survey of about 900 women health care workers from 59 countries.

About three-quarters of the women surveyed by the nonprofit organization Women in Global Health reported challenges with PPE fit and only 14% said they exclusively wore fit-tested PPE. Even in countries like the United Kingdom where PPE fit testing is routine, respondents reported that masks failed to properly fit many women, particularly those who were not White, according to a report summarizing the survey results and interviews with women health workers. Women who wore head scarves or larger hair styles also reported difficulty finding masks that fit.

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