DETROIT – Healthcare workers put their lives on the line every day to care for people affected by COVID-19.
The risk for certain groups of healthcare workers is very serious.
Of the 315,000 coronavirus cases reported to the CDC between February 12 and April 9, there were more than 9,000 who were healthcare workers. As large as that number is, the CDC said it’s likely an underestimate because less than one-in-five reports actually include information on if a patient was a healthcare worker.
Among the health care workers where information was collected, the average age was 42, 73% were women, 72% were white, and most 55% only had exposure to the virus at work.
Of the 9,000, the CDC reported 723 were hospitalized and 27 died. While the numbers are likely higher, healthcare workers are less likely to hospitalized than the general population.
The other CDC report detailed the transmission of COVID-19 to three healthcare workers by one patient at the start of the outbreak in California -- before the careful use of PPE. In those transmissions, three factors were identified that increased the risk -- exposure during nebulizer treatment, exposure during noninvasive ventilation with BiPAP and increased time in contact with the patient.
Everyone in healthcare takes all of this deadly serious and more than anything these numbers show that without proper protective gear, we are all at risk on the job -- but it also shows that doctors have the same exposure risk as everyone else outside of the hospital.