A shocking photo of nurses wearing 33-gallon trash bags for protection at a New York City hospital was a graphic reminder of the dire shortage of PPEs, or personal protection equipment, needed by health care workers.
The photo showed nurses inside Mount Sinai West holding an open box of trash bags. According to Fox News, the caption on the photo said:
“No more gowns in the whole hospital. No more masks and reusing the disposable ones. Nurses figuring out during the COVID-19 crisis.”
According to an article ProPublica, one reason caregivers are wearing trash bags is that a U.S firm had to recall a whopping 9 million gowns produced by a Chinese supplier because they had not been properly sterilized.
Cardinal Health, a key distributor of medical supplies located in Dublin, Ohio issued a letter of explanation on January 15 explaining that “at this time we cannot provide sterility assurances with respect to the gowns or the packs containing the gowns because of the potential for cross-contamination.”
Colin Milligan, a spokesman for the American Hospital Association, said that the group’s members continue to experience shortages of medical gowns and that the Cardinal recall “has had a ripple effect,” according to ProPublica.
Cardinal received approval Tuesday from the federal government to donate the recalled gowns that remain in inventory to the Strategic National Stockpile for distribution as isolation gowns which would be appropriate for COVID-19 patients who are already infected.
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