The US PPE shortage is so bad, nurses are reusing N95 masks for weeks at a time
- Nurses told the Washington Post they're reusing N95 masks for days or weeks at a time because they can't get enough personal protective equipment.
- Healthcare workers are also sharing their concerns for the shortage of masks via social media.
- But the Trump Administration continues to downplay the issue - Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on a Wednesday press briefing about the coronavirus that "PPE, we hear, remains very strong."
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Due to another shortage of personal protective equipment across the US, nurses told the Washington Post they are using the same N95 mask for up to weeks at a time.
"A lot of people thought once the alarm was sounded back in March surely the federal government would fix this, but that hasn't happened," Deborah Burger, president of the National Nurses United, told the Post.
In May, the California Nurses Association pointed to the lack of PPE as contributing to the death of 53-year-old Fresno nurse Sandra Oldfield, who died of the coronavirus after being exposed to an infected patient in March.
"This was yet another unnecessary death," Amy Arlund, a member of the California Nurses Association, told the Fresno Bee.
But the Trump administration continues to downplay the issue. In a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that "PPE, we hear, remains very strong." Healthcare workers on the frontlines have consistently voiced their concerns regarding the scarcity of PPE on social media.
my hospital is quarantining staff left and right for leaving the state, as if weâ€™re not at a greater risk of contracting covid from going into covid + rooms with the same damn N95 mask weâ€™ve used all week(s)— The Hungry Nurse (@nurse_hangry) June 30, 2020
Nurse friend working in long term care: Down to LAST 2 boxes of N95 masks and it took 20 min. to find a mask. Do you still have any from last summer forest fires?
By Thursday, the US had reported more than 3.1 million cases of the coronavirus and at least 133,106 deaths from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins data. Nearly 65,000 new cases were reported on Wednesday alone, a new high.
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