Healthcare staffers facing shortage of supplies say the end is not in sight

BOSTON (WHDH) - With local hospitals facing a supply shortage, healthcare workers are trying to conserve what little they have but are worried about the day even that runs out.

While hospitals like Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center screen patients in the parking lot, the number of healthcare professionals contracting the virus is growing due in part to the shortage of masks, gowns and gloves.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has 33 employees with coronavirus, Massachusetts General Hospital reports nine cases of COVID-19.

A trauma nurse who wished to remain anonymous explained to 7NEWS how he is reusing his mask after coming into contact with patients who may be infected.

“I have used the same mask for three days now but I keep it in a brown bag and that is my mask for the three days and maybe when I come back next week, I’ll have a new mask.

Elected officials say that an influx of personal protective equipment or PPE is already headed to hospitals, however, frontline workers say they have not seen it yet.

“We want to come in, we want to care for you but we want to be safe in our practice and we want to be safe for you and us,” Amy Smith, a nurse at Brockton Hospital said.

Boston Medical Center explained in a written statement that they are conserving PPE inventory to protect staff and patients.

“BMC is proactively and aggressively sourcing additional PPE from existing and new suppliers as well as using creative approaches to utilize PPE provided by other industries.”

This trauma nurse said he hopes everyone can get on the same page and fast.

“I think we will get over this. I just think people need to be more socially conscious about what they’re doing,” he said.

Boston Medical Center said they are accepting donations of PPE and say they need them sooner rather than later.


(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)