Hospital staff is making masks with office supplies due to shortage due to coronavirus pandemic

Hospital workers in Washington state have been manufacturing protective medical appliances with office supplies and other daily items because of a serious lack of equipment needed to care for patients who may have COVID-19. [19659002] In a convenient use: Transparent vinyl sheet.

"We have almost no masks," said Becca Bartles, executive director of infection prevention at 51 Hospital System Providence St. Joseph Health. "Masks, we may have to wait a few days," she said.

To save time, Providence infection control and quality experts designed prototype masks using off-the-shelf materials: marine-grade vinyl, industrial tape, foam, and elastic. On Monday night, they bought supplies at the craft store and Home Depot. On Tuesday, about 20 administrative staff at Health Systems headquarters volunteered to assemble an assembly line in a large conference room, assembling 500 home textile masks going to a Seattle hospital that night.

Visits plan to obtain more raw materials from wholesale suppliers, and if finished products are not available, assembly can be resumed later this week. Jennifer Bayersdorfer, senior vice president of clinical quality, Providence, said another prototype mask was made of surgical packaging material, which is usually lined with a surgical tray and is still being tested To check if it meets quality standards.

The authorities should anticipate the shortage. "I think they lag behind the eight-ball system in this regard, and there are a lot of warnings that this is going to be a problem," she said.

Reduced supply

Personal protective equipment or shortage of personal protective equipment, medical in Washington Service providers are happening nationwide as hospitals and doctors scramble to treat thousands of patients who may be infected with the new coronavirus.

Washington State is the second-largest known COVID-19 infection in the United States, and as of Tuesday night, more than 900 have been diagnosed. It is also the site of a bunch of cases that passed through a nursing home, killed 30 residents and warned of the dangers of the disease in other parts of the country. Providence treated the first case in the United States, diagnosed in January by a man in Snowhomies County, who recently traveled to China.

Now, such cases are spreading across the country, and shortages are spreading across the country. Interviewed 10 emergency room doctors and hospital managers across the country, and his colleagues and colleagues took extensive measures to protect rapidly falling protective equipment, especially the most effective N95 protective mask, as well as eye protection, dresses and gloves .

Amy Mullan, an emergency room doctor at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, said: "Many emergency physicians are in their hands to find ways to protect themselves." "They should not be forced to worry about it.

Some doctors take home N95 masks and wash them with bleach so they can be reused. "A hospital ordered protective equipment from a company that supplies goggles and masks to construction workers. Vivian Reyes, a doctor at an emergency room in San Francisco and president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine California, said an emergency department had readjusted old masks that had failed elastic bands.

"This is not a normal period." Physician. "Our supply chain is hampered.


The risks faced by frontline doctors are worrying. For example, doctors Without Borders in Italy are struggling with a shortage of protective equipment, according to statistics COVID-19 has infected 1,700 health workers, accounting for 8% of cases in the country.

Many hospitals are unable to order certain medical equipment due to the surge in global demand for equipment. For example, spokesperson Marc Brown ) Said that Kaiser Permanente, located in Oakland, California, has changed from COVID-19, which screens several patients per day, to hundreds, and the hospital has been screening several patients per day. COVID-19. As a result, their masks, masks and gowns, as well as nasal swabs, were unable to detect patients' viruses.

Attempts to order more products were unsuccessful, he said. Brown said in a written statement: " Manufacturers' supply chain challenges and the surge in demand across the global healthcare industry, and the availability of new supplies and equipment we have ordered is now delayed Or canceled. "We are rapidly changing from having enough supplies to the risk that we may run out of some of the equipment and supplies we need.

By the end of February, more than half of hospitals had changed their practices to preserve supplies of protective equipment, including gowns, and a survey by Premier Inc. showed that masks, gloves, shoe covers, and eye masks had the highest rates of use. The survey can help 4,000 member hospitals to purchase and manage supplies. The company reported on March 9 that more than 700 protection products were in "allocated" state, meaning that the hospital ordered only some of the ordered supplies. N95 masks received only 44%. [19659009] The shortage has prompted some groups to call on the federal government to release medical supplies in its Strategic Reserve (SNS), which is controlled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But the emergency room waiting for the influx of equipment from national inventory could be disappointing. HHS Secretary Alex Azar told Congress last month that the inventory contains 30 million surgical masks and 12 million more Protective N95 masks. He said that 5 million more N95 masks may have expired.

This number is dwarfed by the number of masks required for severe outbreaks. pale. Government scientists estimated in 2015 that a severe flu outbreak would infect 20-30% of the population and would require at least 1.7 billion N95 gas masks.

In the past, the country's stockpile of medicines was more stable. In 2006, Congress Supplementary funding was provided, adding 104 million N95 masks and 52 million surgical masks to prepare for the pandemic. However, after the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009, this led to a shortage of masks nationwide and a backlog of N95 varieties. With two to three years of orders, inventory has backloged about three quarters of the inventory, but has not increased supply.

Federal effort

Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that he and President Trump plan to discuss " The hospital's supply chain, "he asked the construction company to" donate its N95 mask inventory to local hospitals and give up.

In addition, the Department of Defense stated that it will provide 5 million N95 air filter masks (of which 1 million are immediately available) and 2,000 ventilators to help combat the new coronavirus, according to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. ) Said, pandemic.

"Inventory can only be a bridge, and can never be a total solution," said Greg Burel, a former US Secretary of Defense. Strategic National Reserve Center, he now runs a consulting firm focused on emergencies and medical preparations. The stock receives only about $ 600 million in appropriations from Congress every year, and the money must be extended to cover medicines and supplies, from a potential anthrax outbreak to a flu outbreak to a response to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods.

Private Burel said that the healthcare sector needs to undertake a significant amount of work to develop these important inventories. "What do they do to make sure they protect their nurses and doctors?

In Providence, Washington, the hospital system is already following loose guidelines from federal authorities that allow employees to wear masks longer than usual Supplies are kept longer. They have been transporting supplies between hospitals, moving excess equipment from Spokane to Seattle in the middle of the night. But now they are worried that insufficient supplies will mean they cannot safely treat suspicious COVID-19 Patients.

"We are really worried that we are now at Everett Hospital for less than a day or two," said Ari Robicsek, chief medical analyst of the system. "What we really need is to get the industry to stand in time of war and ask factories to start Production of this critical equipment.

More information about new coronavirus outbreaks

How does this outbreak affect you, if any?

Do you want to change your routine or do business as usual? Did you cancel or postpone any plans? What kind of discussions are you having with family and friends? Are you the frontline health care provider in response? No matter who you are, we want to hear from you so that our news reports are as complete, accurate and useful as possible. If you are using a mobile device and you don't see the form on this page, click here.

Do you have questions about new coronaviruses?

Ask your question in the form below and we will look for the answer. If you are using a mobile device and you don't see the form on this page, please ask a question here.

You can see the questions we have answered in the FAQ.

If you have a specific medical problem, contact your doctor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *