Concerns over hospital cutbacks in protective gear

1:24 min

Nurses and doctors in parts of Sweden are being provided with less protective gear when working with corona patients.

Medical staff in hospitals around the country are concerned at changes made to the recommended protective gear they wear during contact with patients with the corona virus. Several local health authorities have lowered their standards, says Mia Lehtonen, a nurse at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm and representative for the doctors' and nurses' union, the Swedish Association of Health Professionals.

She says where a few weeks ago staff wore visors, mouth protectors with special filters, long-sleeved tunics, rubber boots and gloves taped to the sleeves, now they are given aprons, visors, gloves and ordinary mouth protectors. The same gear used in contact with patients who have influensa.

The Skåne health authority has used the new guidelines for more than a week, and infectious diseases doctor Eva Melander says its because of what is known about how the corona virus spreads. She says using too much protective gear, especially by staff not used to it, is actually less safe.