Since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, health care systems across the US have reported substantial personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, compromising their ability to keep health care professionals safe while treating increasing numbers of patients.1 Gloves, face masks, N95 respirators, powered air-purifying respirators, eye protection, and gowns are central to transmission-based precautions. Initial delays in COVID-19 testing increased PPE use, further intensifying demand.
Consequently, some health care professionals have resorted to directly sourcing PPE from personal networks. Infection prevention teams across the country have focused on supply conservation with extended use and reuse protocols. These teams have also collaborated with others (engineers, the maker community, local businesses, and community volunteers) to create new forms of PPE, including respirators and eye protection. At the same time, reports suggest there are overseas suppliers with sizable quantities of PPE who want to supply US health care systems, but logistic issues related to quality, payment terms, and air cargo capacity are among the barriers.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.