On Tuesday 14 April the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) approved the guidance document “Ethical Considerations for PPE Use by Health Care Workers in a Pandemic”.
This ethical guidance considers to what extent health care workers have an obligation to provide, or participate in the provision of, a medical intervention where there are constraints on supplies of PPE.
The paper highlights that different procedures involve different levels of risk, and risk will vary between healthcare workers depending on the possible intensity of any exposure, and personal factors (for example, certain pre-existing conditions which put them at an increased risk of serious complications should they contract COVID-19).
The guidance sets out specific factors for consideration when evaluating the risk of particular interventions.
Ethical considerations for PPE use by health care workers in a pandemic
The following guidance is directed primarily to healthcare workers (HCWs) in acute, pre-hospital and community settings as well as to their managers. It will also be useful for policy makers.