Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialties Vol. 75, No. 1, January-June 2020, pp 9

PCS Guideline on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Surgery During COVID-19 Pandemic

Author(s): Philippine College of Surgeons

Safety of the surgical team is of paramount importance and there should be no compromise in the use of the adequate and proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

  1. During this rapid spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, it is prudent to assume all patients for surgery is COVID-19 infected unless proven otherwise. Hence, appropriate PPE should be worn when inside the Operating Room and strictly by all members of the surgical team. (March 22, 2020, PCS Bulletin)
  2. A surgeon who wore the recommended adequate and proper PPE while attending to a COVID-19 positive patients, is NOT considered a Person Under Monitoring (PUM). Quarantine at this point is not routinely recommended.
    1. If any member of the surgical team develops symptoms, treat them in the same category as Persons Under Investigation (PUI).
    2. In the above situation, the appropriate contact tracing and COVID-19 testing is performed.
    3. There is no available evidence regarding safety with the use of alternative PPEs.
    4. It has been found that the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed).
  3. Surgical team PPE is composed of the following:
    1. Buffer Room (ante-room)
      1. Hooded isolation gown
      2. Double caps
      3. Medical protective mask (N95)
      4. Medical goggles
      5. Boot covers
      6. Two layers of Latex gloves
      7. Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), if available replaces N95 and medical goggles
    2. Upon entry to the OR
      1. Sterile disposable non-woven polypropylene surgical gown
      2. Another layer of sterile gloves

Key words: Safety of the surgical team