The Latest Pandemic PPE Shortage: Gowns

June 29, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified June 30, 2020

According to this recent article in Medscape, both disposable and reusable isolation gowns are in short supply right now, leading some healthcare workers to wear disposable gowns several times or to opt for white coats, graduation gowns, even trash bags as protection. Organizations that procure PPE for healthcare workers have seen a surge in demand for gowns as the pandemic stretches on and elective surgeries resume in some places.

“When we first started out, we very much knew we’d have issues with masks and respirators,” said Val Griffith, MD, an emergency medicine physician and cofounder of GetUsPPE. “It was luck of the draw for a healthcare provider whether or not their hospital had stockpiled them.”

Requests for gowns from GetUsPPE.org rose to 255,569 the week of June 8–14, almost double any previous week. “We expected to see these increased numbers,” Griffith said, “and we expected there to be a delay.” ProjectN95, another organization that was created to respond to healthcare workers’ need for PPE, reports current requests for 333,453 gowns. At Premier, a healthcare supply-chain company, demand for PPE has surged, according to company president Mike Alkire. In particular, requests for isolation gowns, which Alkire called “essential both for treating COVID-19 patients and resuming elective surgeries,” have increased by 500% over historic levels during the pandemic.

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