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HickOnACrick

Are masks mandatory in your NICU during coronavirus pandemic?

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Knowing that asymptomatic carriers can spread coronavirus, I have been petitioning our hospital administration for the past 3 weeks that masks be mandatory for caregivers in the NICU anytime they are within 6 feet of a patient, family, or other staff member. Last week they said masks are optional and each staff member would be issued one mask per shift. I strongly recommended that our caregivers wear masks anytime they were within 6 feet of other staff, patients, or their families. 2 days ago I was reprimanded by our administration for strongly recommending masks while at work. 

My reasoning for wearing masks is primarily to protect staff, patients, and families from asymptomatic carriers. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7670241

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18335238

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12009822

How many of your NICUs have implemented mandatory masks when unable to maintain social distancing?

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We do not recommend anyone in our NICUs to wear facemasks. Only staff use masks (N95's) if we admit infants to Covid-19+ mothers (and if the infant has stayed close with the mother before admission). 

OT: we do not recommend face masks in the general population in Sweden,  but our authorities also gives advice different to many other countries. So, I don't think this is so representative

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

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Hi!

We use facemasks in almost all situations.

The Austrian authorities try to expand the usage of masks in more and more daily situations and we feel obligated to give a positive example.

This policy is in effect in the whole Hospital not only the neonatal unit.

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1 hour ago, Stefan Johansson said:

We do not recommend anyone in our NICUs to wear facemasks. Only staff use masks (N95's) if we admit infants to Covid-19+ mothers (and if the infant has stayed close with the mother before admission). 

OT: we do not recommend face masks in the general population in Sweden,  but our authorities also gives advice different to many other countries. So, I don't think this is so representative

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/10/europe/sweden-lockdown-turmp-intl/index.html

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I was reading about Sweden's social experiment this morning. 

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In  Chile we all wear face masks, infected 5972 deceased 57. In Sweden infected 9685 deceased 870. No further comment.

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I'd like to clarify that comment a bit: Chile is entering its 6th week since the first COVID19 case was detected. There are areas with a high number of cases, so partial lockdowns are being put in place for 2 to 3 weeks. Those are being lifted (or not) depending on the number of new cases on a daily basis. There is an issue with availability of testing as is the case with most LA countries, but Chile is steadily increasing PCR testing availability country-wide. 

Recently, universal use of face masks when outside of home was recommended and made mandatory when using public transportation on April 8. People are encouraged to use homemade or commercial cloth face masks and leave surgical masks and N95s for healthcare workers.

At my public hospital, we were issued cloth masks to use outside of the hospital, surgical masks for clinical work at the NICU, and plastic gowns, face shields and N95s when there is likelihood to be exposed to aerosols.

We are expecting peak contagion to hit us by the end of April-early May and are trying, just like everybody else to flatten the curve. It's still too early to tell how it will go for Chile.

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In Amsterdam we do not were masks at the NICU; will do when a COVID19 + neonate is admitted, but so far that has not happened. When parents are positive, the babies will be tested twice in two weeks; we will were normal masks untill negative. In regular live we do not were mask, we have a light lock-down.

 

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In Wolfsburg, Germany we wear N95 facemasks whole day. Two weeks ago we were almost closed down due to infected staff. So we basically wear the mask to prevent the patients getting infected by personnel (and vice versa). We have yet not seen a positive newborn (all patients are tested if admitted to the hospital) 

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11 hours ago, NHowold said:

In Wolfsburg, Germany we wear N95 facemasks whole day. Two weeks ago we were almost closed down due to infected staff. So we basically wear the mask to prevent the patients getting infected by personnel (and vice versa). We have yet not seen a positive newborn (all patients are tested if admitted to the hospital) 

Unfortunately, the very few N95 masks we have available are limited to the adult side of the hospital. 30 miles away, they are using N95 masks in the NICU.

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Universal masking - has pros and cons.

You will find those who swear by it and those that find fault in it.

Nice perspective here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

But just a personal viewpoint - i often see that those who wear face masks throughout the shift often tend to touch their faces more. 

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Here the government officially recommended using any type of masks a starting from 1st week of April. As for health workers, hospitals recommending using surgical masks a couple of weeks earlier,  and for workers to limit the number of masks they use/day. This week putting on surgical masks in hospitals was strengthen. N95 masks and other PPEs are only to be used in our NICU if a "confirmed" COVID-19 infected mother was to give birth, which we still didn't experience, and their use are limited to the NICU members who resuscitate this newborn.

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We always use surgical Masks. If there is a Covid or suspect covid newborn we wear ffp2 (N95) masks 

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