The World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 a pandemic in March 2020, affecting most countries worldwide. High-income countries (HICs) like Australia, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA) and Portugal were better equipped to slow the spread of the virus by imposing lockdown and scaling up preventive, diagnostic and treatment modalities in a well-developed health care system. In contrast, many lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), including India, were less well equipped, which has had devastating effects on these countries’ economies and healthcare systems. Regardless of income status, safeguarding frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) for the ongoing provision of essential health services, including surgery, became a key priority in ensuring a functioning health system.
To safeguard HCWs, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be available with appropriate training and safety protocols effectively implemented. We conducted a global survey of surgical facilities and perioperative providers to assess the availability of pulse oximeters for patient monitoring, and PPE for safety processes for preventing the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the perioperative setting, in collaboration with Lifebox Foundation, the UK, Smile Train, New York, the USA, Jhpiego, Baltimore, the USA.