A slew of studies in the general population have highlighted how people from minority backgrounds in Britain and the United States are disproportionately more likely to die from Covid-19 than their white counterparts.
Last month a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal found that frontline health workers were more than three times more likely to test positive for the virus than the general population early in the pandemic, with the rate rising to five times for ethnic minority medical staff.
Commenting on the study in Thorax, Tim Cook, an anaesthesia professor at the University of Bristol, said it adds to research suggesting those working in intensive care were at lower risk than staff in other parts of a hospital.
He said the availability and type of PPE could be a factor as well as familiarity with more rigorous precautions for sterility and infection prevention in emergency rooms.
He added that recent studies suggested patients were more infectious at the beginning of their illness, so may be less likely to spread the virus by the time that they are treated in intensive care.
“Those caring for the patients earlier in their illness may be more at risk and this has implications for managing all patient-facing staff on the wards,” he added.