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Hospitals ask for donations after PPE shortages

Posted at 11:24 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 23:26:48-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Hospitals across the country face a shortage of personal protective equipment. Local hospitals are in the same boat.

Catholic Health is working to get FDA-approved masks and Personal Protective Equipment for caregivers, in particular N95 and surgical masks.

Dr. Brian Murray, Chief Medical Officer at ECMC, said the hospital has enough PPE's for caregivers right now. They're keeping track of their PPE equipment, and have ordered additional supplies.

"We have a taskforce that meets on a daily basis. And we get a regular update everyday on where we are, what levels of the various pieces of equipment we have, how fast we're going through them, what we can expect in the supply chain coming forward," he said.

But without guarantees of their delivery date, they are asking for donations, particularly N95 masks and the 3M 1860 model.

"We are getting what we can through state and other organizations. We're also being being very careful not tp use this precious commodity when it's not appropriate to use, so as to preserve the supplies as long as possible," he said.

Roswell Park implemented new protocols this week for PPE use - all staff working in clinical areas will wear either surgical or N95 masks.

The hospital said it continues to look for donations of unused commercial products like those masks, as well as gloves.

A spokesperson with Catholic Health said they are working with federal, state and local governments to prepare for the surge in COVID-19 patients, and admitted the first patients to its COVID-19 Treatment Facility Thursday.

They continue to build their supply of PPEs through purchasing channels and are receiving donations as well.

The Emergency Department's activity has increased, but they say they are managing.

To protect the safety of all patients and staff, they have established medical triage tents outside Emergency Departments at several of the hospitals in their health system.