Massachusetts Medical Society: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

What can health care personnel do to protect themselves when caring for patients who are symptomatic or have tested positive for COVID-19? 
Health care personnel (HCP) are on the front lines of caring for patients with confirmed or possible infection with COVID-19. When caring for patients, health care personnel should familiarize themselves with the CDC information on caring for patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19 infection and use the appropriate PPE. CDC has a page on FAQ regarding PPE.

There is a shortage of PPE, what is the current CDC and DPH guidance?
The CDC’s updated infection prevention and control guidance states that N95 respirators should be prioritized for procedures likely to generate respiratory aerosols, which pose the highest risk to health care professionals. If there are shortages of gowns they should be prioritized for aerosol-generating procedures, care activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated, and high-contact patient care activities that provide opportunities for transfer of pathogens to the hands and clothing of health care personnel. Read the full CDC Guidance on Optimizing Supply of PPE and Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment. Also available is Massachusetts Guidance on the Prioritization of PPE.

How do hospitals, facilities and physician practices request PPE from DPH?
The MMS is advocating with all stakeholders regarding the urgent need for PPE. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is acutely aware of rapidly expanding needs PPE for numerous organizations across the state – including masks, gowns, gloves, and eye protection. The Commonwealth’s efforts include advocating for more supplies from the federal Strategic National Stockpile, sourcing new supplies and working with local partners to acquire excess inventory.  PPE resources are limited in the Commonwealth and DPH is stressing conservation and prioritization. Currently, DPH and MEMA are only able to serve as a bridge when an entity has a critically low supply. The Commonwealth is currently not able to supplant the normal supply chain for PPE.  The Commonwealth’s PPE FAQ contains more information and access to the PPE Request Process and Request Form.

Where can I direct business or industry that wants to donate or sell PPE to the Commonwealth?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is committed to delivering the resources necessary to confront COVID-19 and appreciates the donation and sale of products that will be crucial to this effort. To access the forms to provide information about donating or selling products and goods please go to the DPH COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation Program webpage.


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