Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on Colombian anesthesiologists: Survey study
Introduction: The practice of anesthesiology during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a psychological impact, and has been associated with ethical dilemmas, work overload, and occupational risk.
Objective: To understand different problems affecting anesthesiologists, in particular with regards to professional ethics in the decision-making process, increased personal workload, and the potential risk in terms of their own safety and health, as a consequence of working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study. A survey was administered to the anesthesiologists members of the Colombian Society of Anesthesiology and Resuscitation (S.C.A.R.E.), to enquire about work hours, occupational safety, prevention standards and strategies, and ethical aspects involved in decision making.
Results: 218 anesthesiologist participated in the survey. Most of the respondents felt that there was not a significant increase in their workload, except for those in critical care (42.5 %; n = 17). Most of the participants believe that leisure time is not enough. 55.96 % (n = 122) of the participants said they felt moderately safe with the biosecurity measures, but with a higher risk of contagion versus other practitioners, with 72.9 % (n = 159) and they said they used their own money to buy personal protection equipment (PPE). There was also evidence that one fourth of the respondents has faced ethical dilemmas during the resuscitation of SARS-CoV-2 – infected patients.
Conclusion: The information gathered is a preliminary approach to the situation arising in Colombia as a result of the pandemic; it is clear that anesthesiologists perceive higher associated lack of safety due to different factors such as higher risk of infection, shortage of PEEs and burnout, inter alia. Hence we believe that it is fundamental to acknowledge the work of all anesthesiologists and understand the impact that the pandemic has had on this group of professionals.
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