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ALMOST 16 million protective goggles supplied for use by NHS and care workers will be urgently withdrawn because they fail to ensure protection from coronavirus, the government admitted today.
The “tiger eye”-type goggles have been recalled after tests showed that they does not meet current requirements for “splash protection” and are only suitable for low-risk settings.
A letter from the Department of Health and Social Care said: “As a result, this product should not be used in a Covid-19 setting, and we are removing it from the supply chain.”
The recall comes amid criticism of the government’s record on supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) and after 400,000 medical gowns imported from Turkey were found not to comply with NHS standards.
Tests on the goggles, of which 25.6 million were bought in 2009 under the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Programme, were performed at the request of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), according to the letter.
Some 15.9 million pairs have been distributed to the NHS.
It is understood that the tests were carried out in response to concerns about the fit of the eye protectors.
Current guidance recommends that workers instead use a full-face shield or visor when during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) such as intubating a patient, which can cause droplets or splashes.
The letter also says that if staff have used the tiger eye protectors when performing AGPs or have otherwise been exposed to droplets or splashes, then the HSE should be alerted.
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