COVID-19 is a new coronavirus, which means that no-one has a natural immunity to it. This virus has spread worldwide, leading the WHO to label it a pandemic. Worldwide millions of people are advised to stay at home to minimize transmission of coronavirus. However, healthcare providers need to visit clinics and hospitals, putting themselves at high risk of COVID-2019.
Healthcare providers in the US are struggling to protect themselves from COVID-19 while helping COVID-19 patients due to the rapid coronavirus spread. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a key concern for healthcare providers to safeguard themselves from exposure to COVID-19. However, PPE shortages have been described in the most affected facilities.
Some healthcare providers are waiting for equipment while
already treating patients who may be infected or using types of equipment which
are failed to meet requirements. For instance, according to New York governor
Andrew Cuomo around 30,000 ventilators were required for proper care in the
These healthcare providers are operating with a maximum capacity for many months and it is difficult for them to operate with the same capacity over a long period. Hence safety of health-care providers must be ensured by governments.
Presently healthcare providers are the most valuable resource for every country and various measures such as the adequate provision of PPE, canceling non-essential events to prioritize resources, provision of food, rest, and family support and psychological support.
The federal government can help in improving the visibility,
distribution, and need-based access to healthcare equipment. Healthcare systems
are facing the PPE crisis now, the ventilator crisis could be next, and
shortages of other related supplies and medicines may follow soon. An inventory
tracking system is useful in the current crisis as these systems can keep track
of all working and repairable ventilators, ventilator tubing and other
essential supplies such as endotracheal tubes.
Apart from the government contribution, the healthcare providers should perform hand hygiene before and after contact with all patient, contact with potentially infectious material, before putting on and upon removal of PPE, including gloves, perform environmental cleaning and disinfection, and In the case of unprotected exposure to a confirmed or possible COVID-19 patient, the healthcare worker must contact a supervisor or occupational health immediately.
The whole world must act in the most coordinated, efficient way possible as the confidence and lives of the healthcare providers are at stake and they are at the front line of this outbreak response.