The Demand for Higher Quality PPE Standards

Nurses are still struggling for access to adequate supplies for PPE. Not only are supplies shaky, but the quality of the protective equipment is also in question. Forbes also takes the conversation a step further by suggesting that the standards to protect healthcare workers by modernizing PPE standards. This article, written by Brent D. Lang, Chairman, President and CEO of Vocera Communications, Inc., argues that the standards for PPE currently in place are not doing enough to protect frontline workers. And the numbers suggest he isn’t wrong.

According to the CDC, more than 216,000 healthcare workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19, and 800 have died from the virus as of November 16, 2020. Sadly, more deaths are expected and feared. Responses in a survey of New York City medical residents revealed that 60% believed their personal protective equipment (PPE) was suboptimal. (Forbes, 2021)

“We need to take a battlefield approach and ensure those on the front lines have the essential tools and technologies needed to win the war on Covid-19.” Mr. Lang goes on to say legislative initiatives matter just as much. “And we need Congress to make greater commitments and investments now to empower workers today with available technology that will help save valuable time, PPE, and lives.” Read the full article below by clicking HERE or on the URL below:

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/12/22/protect-healthcare-workers-by-modernizing-ppe-standards/?sh=504166137d6b

WSJ: US Fails to Hit PPE Supply Targets

In May, President Trump set a stockpile goal of 300 million N95 respirators for healthcare workers. In November, the stockpile was less than half of that goal at 142 million. Even more concerning is the Department of Health and Human Services lack of planning for distributing protective medical equipment around the country. The White House will continue to use Defense Protection Act (DPA) funds to boost production and distribution of PPE, but it may not be enough to adequately supply the country’s health systems. Click HERE or on the URL below to read the full story from the Wall Street Journal.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-supplies-of-covid-19-ppe-fall-short-of-targets-11607509800 Read more

Nursing Homes Are Once Again Hit Hard by PPE Shortages

Greenville Business Magazine is reporting astonishing data on Coronavirus outbreaks in South Carolina nursing home communities. By the second week of November, there were 3,882 cases and 1,500 deaths among South Carolina nursing home residents.  This crisis is not secluded to just South Carolina either. Nationally, 91,000 nursing home patients have died since November. (Kaiser Family Foundation) Read the full story from Greenville Business Magazine by clicking the link below.

 

http://www.greenvillebusinessmag.com/2020/12/02/337607/south-carolina-nursing-homes-grapple-with-rising-covid-19-cases

Bills to Exempt PPE Purchases from Tax

Here is an interesting article from MiBiz that explains why employers will be exempt from sales tax. Employers could buy pandemic-related personal protection equipment without having to pay state sales or use taxes under proposed statewide legislation. The state House Tax Policy Committee began reviewing two bills this week that would exempt from sales and use taxes the purchase of PPE and supplies such as disinfectants and sanitizers, plus equipment like plexiglass for barriers to prevent exposure to COVID-19. Click below to read the rest of the story.

 

 

https://mibiz.com/sections/economic-development/bills-would-exempt-ppe-purchases-from-sales-use-tax-for-employers

FDA’s Shifting Standards for Chinese Face Masks Fuel Confusion

The FDA has changed its mind about allowing Chinese-made KN95 masks to be used by healthcare workers several times, fueling confusion in State governments as they scramble to figure out if masks that they bought in the beginning months of the pandemic are safe and effective.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fdas-shifting-standards-for-chinese-face-masks-fuel-confusion-11596460191?mod=ig_coronavirus

PPE 101: The do’s and don’ts of donning and doffing

A helpful guide from the American Medical Association about what to do and what not to do when it comes to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

https://www.ama-assn.org/residents-students/residency/ppe-101-dos-and-donts-donning-and-doffing

Nurses’ Pleas Spur U.S. Pledge to Tap 44 Million-Mask Stockpile

There are millions of N95 respirators in the United States’ Strategic National Stockpile and more respirators are being ordered, but many experts within the nursing industry are urging the government to give out the respirators now.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-31/nurses-pleas-spur-u-s-pledge-to-tap-44-million-mask-stockpile

Congressman McHenry Introduces Bipartisan American PPE Supply Chain Integrity Act

The bipartisan bill known as the American PPE Supply Chain Integrity Act was introduced to Congress yesterday by Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) and Congressman Bill Pascrall Jr. (D-NJ-9). This bill will help America reduce its reliance on foreign-made PPE, particularly PPE from China.

Read the full text of the bill here:

https://mchenry.house.gov/uploadedfiles/american_ppe_supply_chain_integrity_act.pdf

 

The PPE Supply Chain is a Black Box—that Needs to Change

In this recent Fortune article, the authors discuss how there is little transparency about the PPE supply chain. Most shockingly, the authors cite a study that found that the three largest PPE producers in the country (3M, Honeywell International and MSA Safety) have released zero details about their supply chains.

https://fortune.com/2020/07/25/ppe-supply-chain-national-security/

Paging Dr. Hamblin: Is a Bandanna a Mask?

In a perfect world, the supply of 3-ply masks across the United States for everyone to wear a 3-ply surgical mask. However, since there are not enough surgical masks for everyone, this article details how to maximize the effectiveness of your cloth mask.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/paging-dr-hamblin-cloth-masks-wash/614479/