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Southeast Health hopes PPE stockpile provides buffer if national shortage worsens
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Southeast Health hopes PPE stockpile provides buffer if national shortage worsens

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Southeast Health

Dothan's Southeast Health 

Southeast Health is hoping to lean on its stockpile of personal protective equipment if national shortages worsen.

111cc彩票下载安卓Dillon Ward, manager of life safety and emergency management, said the hospital is experiencing shortages of N95 masks, which have been in short supply since the beginning of the pandemic, and is now also noticing shortages of gloves and isolation gowns.

111cc彩票下载安卓“We’re having a hard time getting it through our normal supply chain,” he said. “We do have enough to care for the patients we have.”

As U.S. cases continue to rise, causing more PPE to be used, the nation is running low again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs.

Not only are there problems with supply and demand, but there have been issues in the delivery chain as well, as most PPE is manufactured overseas.

111cc彩票下载安卓In general, supplies of protective gear are more robust now, and many states and major hospital chains say they are in better shape. But medical professionals and some lawmakers have cast doubt on those improvements as shortages begin to reappear.

111cc彩票下载安卓Ward says he considers Southeast Health lucky because administrators foresaw the implications the global pandemic could have on the hospital before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S.

A multidisciplinary team was formed to run a drill, simulating worst-case scenarios if the virus hit the region.

“We saw this happening,” Ward said. “We were able to go ahead and get a lot of PPE on the front end of the pandemic.”

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A team at the hospital has been producing its own isolation gowns because they knew it would be among its most consumed protective equipment. Ward said the hospital is actually increasing its inventory despite the high “burn rate,” a measure of how much single-use PPE is disposed over a certain period of time, in anticipation of a second wave of COVID-19-related hospitalizations that is already beginning to occur.

“We do have a stockpile. Concerning the shortage of PPE, we don’t really know what it is until it hits,” Ward said. “While we may have enough now doesn’t necessarily mean you will have enough if a major interruption occurs.”

Ward said at one point during the pandemic, the hospital was burning through 40,000 gloves a day.

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Southeast Health Foundation also has been innovative in its approach to help stock the hospital. The foundation has worked with community organizations to create a steady stream of homemade cloth masks for patients, getting help from student organizations to 3-D print elastic band holders (or “ear savers”).

The biomedical team is also working on figuring out how to make its own face shields, which must be used when treating suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients.

The hospital has worked closely with the Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Agency and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to receive critically needed supplies at little or no cost to the hospital throughout the crisis.

“We do have a stockpile. Concerning the shortage of PPE, we don’t really know what it is until it hits,” Ward said. “While we may have enough now doesn’t necessarily mean you will have enough if a major interruption occurs.”

Ward said the community can help by protecting themselves and others by wearing a mask. Reducing the spread of the coronavirus is the only way to prevent COVID-related hospitalizations and reduce the burn rate of PPE.

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As of Wednesday, Southeast Health reported 30 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — twice the amount it had two weeks ago. It also has reported five more COVID-related deaths since that time, with 33 total confirmed deaths.

In total, 279 patients have tested positive for coronavirus at Southeast Health since the beginning of the pandemic out of 4,916 tested.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 46,424 total cases and reached 1,032 deaths from the illness on Wednesday.

Houston County added 29 reported cases in the last two days, according to information from the ADPH COVID-19 surveillance dashboard, and 165 in the last two weeks, bringing its total cases to 536. Barbour County has 362 cases, 59 reported in the last two weeks; Coffee has 392, up 67; Covington has 381, up 112; Dale has 326, up 111; Geneva has 86, up 32; Henry has 140, up 14; and Pike has 452, up 74.

There have been 30 deaths in Wiregrass counties: Barbour, two; Coffee, three; Covington, 10; Dale, one; Henry, three; Houston, six; and Pike, five.

111cc彩票下载安卓Deaths are reported according to the county of residence.

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