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Supplies Updates - Updated on April 2, 2020


Our supply of thermometer covers for oral thermometers is low. We are suggesting more use of temporal thermometers if you have them. We also have single patient use thermometers (originally intended for employees) now in central supply. You can access these for a new admit, use for the duration of the patient visit and then send home with patient.

Surgical masks: Surgical masks are still appropriate for droplet precautions. Our patients with r/o COVID-19 are isolated in droplet precautions. When these patients receive a treatment that would be considered aerosolizing, an N95 mask needs to be work by the health care workers in the room. According to the CDC, these procedures include intubation, extubation, manual ventilation, nebulizer treatments, and collection of oral or nasopharyngeal specimen.

Isolation gowns: Still a decreased supply. We have provided the community with the pattern for making gowns that can be used for isolation precautions that we can reuse. These should come in through the foundation.

Cloth masks: It is really important that team members understand these masks are to be reused and not thrown away. These cloth masks absolutely DO NOT replace use of approved masks in patient care of suspected or positive patients. When team members are given a cloth mask through the foundation, they can take them home, launder them, and own them. The masks are for employee comfort and general environment protection. They can be accessed through the Foundation Office. We will continue to collect donations and have them available but the supply is not endless, so do not throw them away unless they are no longer viable. Below are the instructions given with the masks:

This cloth mask does not replace the PPE needed per policy IP 1.1, Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions, IP Transmission Based Precautions Table, Or the COVID-19 PPE Grid.
If caring for a patient in isolation, KD issued PPE must be worn.

This mask is intended for re-use. It can be washed in the washing machine.
One mask is issued upon request as supplies allow, replacements are not available at this time.

Proper hand hygiene is required with any mask use.
Wash your hands prior to touching or adjusting your mask and wash your hands after touching your mask. WASH-TOUCH-WASH

PPE Organizational Supply Update - as of March 23

Kaweah Health is impacted by the national shortage of PPE. We are running low on gowns, masks and PDI wipes at this time. We are not out of these products though. We are conserving items by reusing gowns in a manner that ensures no contamination for the staff or medical providers. Our team members on the units where it is being used for isolation patients need to be commended for their efforts to conserve and for their rapid process changes. Making a sudden change in practice can be scary and we truly appreciate how hard the teams have worked to make this process flow. Thank you to everyone for your efforts to conserve PPE. We do hope to give you more concrete numbers of PPE usage but are currently working to standardize PPE expectations across multiple care areas, departments and medical team members so we can better gauge how long our supply will last. We have received multiple donations from area dentists, providers and companies who have N95 masks. We have also reached out to companies such as Harbor Freight who have offered access to N95 masks. We have a large number of masks secured and are now working to obtain gowns for that continued protection. With the outpouring of donations, we have received a lot of N95 masks which we put out into distribution in place of the surgical masks. The reason behind this was people were not fit tested for these brands of N95 masks but they would offer protection similar to that of surgical masks when not fit tested. The N95 stock used routinely in the hospital is being saved for patients having aerosolizing procedures or in need of other airborne precautions.

Surgical Masks and N95 Respirators

Please do not re-use general procedure/surgical masks. However, there are guidelines for limited re-use N95 respirators per CDC guidelines attached. Thank you

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic Kaweah Health like many other healthcare institutions worldwide is experiencing shortages with personal protective equipment, particularly N95 respirators. In order to conserve the use of respirators we are requiring healthcare personnel to apply “limited re-use” of an assigned respirator per shift. Remember, it is important that all departments are extremely conscientious about general procedure mask and N95 respirator use.

Important Takeaways:

  • Seasonal influenza is still impacting our community and our patients.
  • General procedure masks are for sick people.
  • Respirators are for healthy people avoiding airborne transmissible disease (e.g. Tuberculosis, Measles, Chickenpox, COVID-19).
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • Clean high touch surfaces frequently with a disinfectant wipe.