Written by Trinity Torgersen (News Writer)
Hospitals around the world struggle to meet ends meet as they run short on supplies from masks to respirators. As people become more aware of the virus, materials like masks, gowns, ventilators, and even staff become more and more scarce. Although, they find ways to work in the conditions as donations and discoveries are helping with the cause. Solutions helping include hospitals finding a way to work with the low supplies they have, looking to private shipments and new legislation being passed.
The virus continues to push hospital’s capabilities as nurses and doctors manage their supply demands in new ways. Having masks and protective gear is key to following the protocol created for healthcare providers to ensure the virus won’t be spread from the patients with coronavirus. Many hospitals deal with the shortage in their own creative ways. People in the U.S. start to reuse their disposable masks and gowns. Health care workers in New York City say the hospitals feel like a war zone. The nurses are having to resort to using trash bags as makeshift gowns, patients are being stacked in beds throughout the hallways and semi trucks in the parking lots are being used as makeshift morgues. Other hospitals resort to making their own masks out of bandanas and cloth to deal with it. They are all using what short supplies they have to make the best with what they have.
The competition to import medical supplies reflects a nationwide scare. The demand is making what’s available close to useless as a huge supply chain in China and the national U.S. stockpile take hits and can’t make up the differance. A national survey tells that nearly a quarter of hospitals have fewer than 100 masks in stock and 20% have an immediate need for ventilators. Around the world hospitals are turning to a private distributor such as New York, who are relying to airlift thousands of products and masks out of China to them. The U.S. military is also flying specialized shipments out of Italy to other states and countries. The Chicago medical supply firm is also using shipments from airplanes because waiting days for boat delivery is too much of a risk. Waiting close to a month for a cargo ship of supplies to arrive from China is a choice that most of the hospitals cannot afford to risk even though the cargo ships can carry over 10 times more supplies than a plane could time is not something to challenge.
To help with the cause president Trump has invoked the wartime law. In a press conference regarding the details of this, Trump said the law was invoked “just in case we need it” This law gives the federal government power to ramp up manufacturing capacity during a national crisis, as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. This means the president can force private companies to manufacture anything specific that is important to have for the government to fight against the pandemic. At the moment it’s not specified how Trump will use this authority to help. It was spoken that Trump and his administration aimed to increase the production of ventilators, millions of masks and certain important pieces of equipment although he did not specify.
Many donation sites have been set up for the public and also others have started to donate what they can to the cause. The donations also come in as the Pentagon plans to donate 5 million masks and has made the first million immediately. Along with that,5,000 ventilators plan to be donated by the pentagon as a statement form Esper. The Ceo of Twitter has also pledged almost a third of his $3.6 billion fortune into a fund to tackle the spread and existence of coronavirus. All around the world people are coming together to do the most they can with what they have to tackle the virus and make helpful donations.
Photo from the New York Sinai Hospitals facebook page.