Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Update on Personal Protective Equipment

Obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be a challenge for long term care providers in many parts of the country. FEMA is now playing a primary national role in determining how PPE is distributed across the country. State and local governments are also playing a role in the supply and distribution of PPE. There are no quick fixes to the national PPE shortage.

Project N95
One coalition, Project N95, has formed to help link PPE suppliers with healthcare providers, including long-term care, in need.

Disposable Face Shields from MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has designed and licensed a manufacturer to produce disposable face shields in high volume. These face shields do not replace the need for face masks such as N95s but do offer splash protection and can extend the useful life of N95 respirators and surgical masks. 

Long term care facilities facing shortages of face masks and other PPE should continue efforts to obtain N95s and other PPE even if they order the MIT face shields. The face shields cost $348.75 for a box of 125 ($2.79 each). Here is a link to MIT’s site with all the details and order form: mitshield.com.

More information on PPE availability, conservation and what to do when you are running low is available on our COVID-19 website under our Personal Protective Equipment section.

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