Survey on the use of personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing of pregnant women in Japan

Takeshi Umazume, Etsuko Miyagi, Yasuo Haruyama, Gen Kobashi, Shigeru Saito, Satoshi Hayakawa, Kei Kawana, Satoru Ikenoue, Ichiro Morioka, Hideto Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To clarify the status of personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) tests for pregnant women, we conducted an urgent survey. Methods: The survey was conducted online from April 27 to May 1, 2020. Questionnaires were sent to core facilities and affiliated hospitals of the obstetrics and gynecology training program and to hospitals of the national perinatal medical liaison council. Results: A total of 296 institutions participated in our survey; however, 2 institutions were excluded. Full PPE was used by doctors in 7.1% of facilities and by midwives in 6.8%. Our study also determined that around 65.0% of facilities for doctors and 73.5% of facilities for midwives used PPE beyond the “standard gown or apron, surgical mask, goggles or face shield” during labor of asymptomatic women. N95 masks were running out of stock at 6.5% of the facilities and goggles and face shields at 2.7%. Disposable N95 masks and goggles or face shields were re-used after re-sterilization in 12% and 14% of facilities, respectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of asymptomatic patients was performed for 9% of vaginal deliveries, 14% of planned cesarean sections and 17% of emergency cesarean sections. The number of PCR tests for obstetrics and gynecology per a week ranged from zero to five in 92% of facilities. Conclusion: The shortage of PPE in Japan is alarming. Sufficient stockpiling of PPE is necessary to prevent unnecessary disruptions in medical care. Appropriate guidelines for PPE usage and COVID-19 testing of pregnant women at delivery are needed in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933-1939
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 1


  • COVID -19
  • personal protective equipment
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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