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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-50

Knowledge and Awareness Regarding Facemasks among Medical Professionals in a COVID-Dedicated Hospital – A Cross-sectional Study

1 Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Paediatrics, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lovenish Bains
Department of Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, Postal Code: 110002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_102_21

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Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is a severe respiratory infection that spreads through infected droplets. Facemasks have been mandated by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control as the cornerstone for preventing the spread of infection among healthcare workers. However, despite the ubiquitous use of masks, many healthcare professionals are unaware of their properties and proper use. Therefore, the study aims to assess the awareness, practices followed, and problems faced in the use of facemasks among medical professionals in a coronavirus disease (COVID)-dedicated hospital. Methodology: An e-questionnaire-based survey was conducted among medical professionals working in a tertiary care (COVID-dedicated) hospital in North India. The questionnaire tested for the knowledge and awareness on properties of facemasks, problems faced on regular or prolonged use, and removal, storage, and disposal practices among professionals. Results: The survey was sent to 368 medical professionals with a response rate of 45.65%. About 43.3% of the participants were aware of the properties of the N95 facemask, and 26% of the health professionals checked for the proper fit of the mask after putting it on. Discomfort and sweat issues were the most common problems reported by 84% and 69.33% of participants, respectively. About 86% of the participants had the knowledge of appropriate removal of the mask, but only one-third were aware of the proper mask disposal practices. Conclusion: Knowledge about the properties of facemasks, their use, and disposal practices among the North Indian healthcare professionals was found to be significantly lower than in western countries; however, the awareness increased with experience in the participants studied (P < 0.001). As it is the young medical force at the forefront to tackle the menace, regular training and accurate information on facemask usage must be disseminated via institutional training programs to prevent the risk of infection and equip the frontline workers to share this knowledge with the community further.

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