As the number of coronavirus infections increases in the United States, healthcare workers are still facing a shortage of personal protective equipment. One physician says that for lack of reason he saw medical staff wearing plastic surface protectors and “Halloween costumes” covering their faces.
“It is our pride and joy to care for anyone, anywhere, anytime, but the situation has reached such a point that most of us may have left 72 hours of valuable equipment in our hospital,” said Dr. Gillian Smitz, vice president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, told CBSN’s Rina Neenan. “Some are already completely finished, and we are being forced to pick up and prepare the equipment.”
“I’ve seen people use plastic protector sheets as a mask for their kids’ homework, people I’ve even seen people dressed in ski goggles, Halloween costumes that were masks to try to put parts of their mouth on,” she said.
Schmitz added that it’s safe to say that there is “absolutely no good evidence” about wearing these options. For example, he says the “droplet mask” he has is not enough to protect patients with coronary virus.
“It’s a thin mask. If someone coughs in my face, I don’t get wet, but that’s not enough,” he said. “It’s just a solder. We don’t have the security level we need for it.”
Schmitz compared the situation with medical personnel going to war without armor and ammunition.
“That would not be acceptable in any other case. If we were going to war, you know, we would have sent men to help them with guns, ammunition and ammunition.”