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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 97-110

An evaluation of the awareness, perceptions, and practice of ultrasound and the use of telesonography among obstetrics and gynecologic sonologists in the Philippines during COVID-19 pandemic

1 Division of Ultrasound, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines
2 Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines

Correspondence Address:
Melissa D Amosco
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,UP-PGH, Manila
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pjog.pjog_18_21

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BACKGROUND: Major changes in the practice of medicine have been adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have not spared the practice of ultrasound among obstetrician–gynecologists, considered to have higher risk due to unique attributes of an ultrasound examination. OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the awareness, attitudes, perceptions, and practices of the obstetric–gynecologic sonologists in the country during the pandemic, including the use of telesonography. METHODOLOGY: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted through a self-administered, structured questionnaire using an online survey software. RESULTS: There were 120 respondents with postresidency training in ultrasound (54.2%) or in maternal and fetal medicine (43.3%), practicing in different regions, and mostly with teaching affiliations (56.7%). Most are aware of the guidelines on the practice of ultrasound this pandemic and they perceived themselves to be especially vulnerable to the infection. They admitted having feelings of stress, sadness, and depression, and their concerns centered on being infected and potentially transmitting it to their family. These perceptions translated to specific practices that include use of level 3 personal protective equipment, patient screening, triaging, and use of physical barriers to minimize environmental and contamination. While most are consistent with guidelines, some practices are neither based on sound scientific evidence nor correctly adhered to, including noncompliance with appropriate ultrasound transducer cleaning and disinfection. Regarding telesonography, only half of the respondents had good knowledge, with most having informal sources of information on the technology. Although the respondents have a good attitude toward it, only a few (15.8%) admitted to using it, mainly to confer with an expert or colleague (38.3%), and for teaching purposes (11.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Obstetric–gynecologic sonologists in the Philippines are aware of the risks and have the same attitudes and perspective on COVID-19 infection as other health-care providers. Specific practices have been modified; however, the use of telesonography is not among the changes adopted.

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