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Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Feb;10(2):251-5.

SARS among critical care nurses, Toronto.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology and Molecualr Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. loebm@mcmaster.ca

Abstract

To determine factors that predispose or protect healthcare workers from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), we conducted a retrospective cohort study among 43 nurses who worked in two Toronto critical care units with SARS patients. Eight of 32 nurses who entered a SARS patient's room were infected. The probability of SARS infection was 6% per shift worked. Assisting during intubation, suctioning before intubation, and manipulating the oxygen mask were high-risk activities. Consistently wearing a mask (either surgical or particulate respirator type N95) while caring for a SARS patient was protective for the nurses, and consistent use of the N95 mask was more protective than not wearing a mask. Risk was reduced by consistent use of a surgical mask, but not significantly. Risk was lower with consistent use of a N95 mask than with consistent use of a surgical mask. We conclude that activities related to intubation increase SARS risk and use of a mask (particularly a N95 mask) is protective.

PMID:
15030692
PMCID:
PMC3322898
DOI:
10.3201/eid1002.030838
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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