DeWine Calls For Help Building Up Personal Protection Equipment
The state is working on building up medical capacity for when the coronavirus is expected to hit its peak, now predicted for mid-May. The state has said there could be up to 10,000 cases per day at that point. While this includes creating more spaces for patients, it also means stocking up on gear known as personal protection equipment.
Gov. Mike DeWine is putting out a call to anyone in Ohio that has the ability to manufacture medical gear or has a supply on hand. During a daily briefing, DeWine held up a poster with the gear Ohio needs, calling it the state's "10 most wanted".
"These are the items that we need. These are the items that we are asking you to help us with," says DeWine.
The list of personal protection equipment needed includes:
- Surgical gowns
- Face/surgical masks
- N-95 particulate respirators
- Isolation gowns
- Face shields
- Tyvek coveralls
- Foot coverings
- Ventilator tubing
"It takes a total of 66 pieces for one patient for one day and so we must conserve, conserve, conserve this life saving gear," DeWine says.
The call for equipment comes as other states report health care workers suffering from trauma as they treat coronavirus. DeWine says these are people on the front lines of the virus, and having the right gear can help with their mental health.
DeWine: "That gives them some assurance. When they don't have it has to cause great frustration and great, great concern."
He says the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is working on ways to help as well.
DeWine also made a public appeal to the FDA asking the entity to approve machines that can disinfect surgical masks for reuse. These machines are made by Battelle, a Columbus-based company.
The machines can disinfect 80,000 surgical masks a day. If approved Ohio would have two of the machines. In DeWine's appeal to the FDA, he emphasized the importance of building up capacity for health care workers.
"They need these as we move forward and as we go farther down the line in regard to the pandemic that we are in. This would significantly, very, very quickly at 160,000 a day, boost our capacity and be able to reuse these after they are stabilized," says DeWine.
He added that Battelle has other machines that are ready to be sent to New York, Washington, and Washington, D.C.
The Ohio Department of Health reported on Saturday, 1,406 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 344 hospitalizations and 25 deaths.