Pragmatic Recommendations for Safety while Caring for Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
Inglis R., Barros L., Checkley W., Cizmeci EA., Lelei-Mailu F., Pattnaik R., Papali A., Schultz MJ., Ferreira JC., COVID-LMIC Task Force and the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit (MORU) None.
Infection prevention and control measures to control the spread of COVID-19 are challenging to implement in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This is compounded by the fact that most recommendations are based on evidence that mainly originates in high-income countries. There are often availability, affordability, and feasibility barriers to applying such recommendations in LMICs, and therefore, there is a need for developing recommendations that are achievable in LMICs. We used a modified version of the GRADE method to select important questions, searched the literature for relevant evidence, and formulated pragmatic recommendations for safety while caring for patients with COVID-19 in LMICs. We selected five questions related to safety, covering minimal requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE), recommendations for extended use and reuse of PPE, restriction on the number of times healthcare workers enter patients' rooms, hand hygiene, and environmental ventilation. We formulated 21 recommendations that are feasible and affordable in LMICs.