Watchdog Report Reveals Big Shortages At Hospitals Around The Country

(RightWingAmericans.Com)- An internal government watchdog report has revealed that hospitals around the country are facing a dire shortage of medical supplies and equipment as they battle the coronavirus pandemic. There is also fear among hospital leaders that they won’t be able to ensure their health care workers will remain safe as they continue to treat patients who have COVID-19.
The report was composed from interviews conducted from March 23-27, finding that everything from coronavirus test kits to even thermometers were in short supply.
The administrators from the hospitals polled said the extreme conflicting guidance from the local, state and federal governments regarding the use of protective gear has led to “a greater sense of confusion, fear and distrust among staff that they can rely on hospital procedures to protect them.”
The report also found that the medical supplies the federal government provided to hospitals was not only short of what was needed, but also was of low quality of not usable at all. In one instance, a hospital received two separate shipments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that included protective gear, but that gear expired in 2010.
In another instance, a separate hospital system got 1,000 masks from both the state and federal government, despite expecting a much larger quantity, and “500 of the masks were for children and therefore unusable for adult staff.” Other N95 masks were “dry-rotted” and couldn’t be used.
Officials from South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Alabama also said they received medical supplies that had already expired. The senior vice president for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Ruthanne Sudderth, said suppliers have denied orders from hospital associations. She said:
“Vendors have told us that they need to send whatever they have to the national stockpile.”
But the problems don’t lie with just advanced medical supplies such as masks. Even basic necessities such as thermometers were in short supply, according to the report. One hospital quoted in the report said it only tested people at random because it didn’t have enough thermometers to go around. Another only had one or two, so they were “unable to take employee temperatures” to make sure the staff of more than 700 people weren’t contracting the virus.
The assistant inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, Ann Maxwell, said she was shocked to hear the dire situations that HHS detailed in the report. She said:
“It is unprecedented. I think one moment that stands out for me is when I was talking to a hospital administrator, and he told me that he had staff in the hospital out trying to procure masks and gloves from auto part shops, home supply stores, from beauty salons, from art supply stores. I was just taken aback.
“You could see both the desperation of the challenges they are facing and the ingenuity they were putting forward in trying to solve these problems so they could provide good patient care and save lives.”