Coronavirus Update: Medical Professionals Researching PPE Alternatives

DENVER (CBS) – The emergency department at UCHealth University of Colorado is running low on personal protective equipment (PPE). Officials are currently looking at alternatives if a surge in coronavirus patients continues. One option would be reusing PPE.

“We have days worth of PPE at our current rate. We are looking for alternatives and contingencies and I think we’re making good progress,” said Dr. Richard Zane, Chief Innovation Officer for UCHealth and chair of emergency medicine for the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

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Zane says if demand continues to grow, they’re currently looking at adjustments they can make to accommodate more patients. Officials are looking at how they’ll allocate ventilators and the possibility of patients sharing them. They’re also identifying places they can put more people.

“How we can turn regular rooms into ICU rooms. How we can turn nontraditional space into health care space? And how we can preserve our workforce?” Zane told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

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He adds that the next few weeks will be crucial and health officials should have a better idea if social distancing measures have worked. In the meantime Zane says it’s crucial people continue to listen to lawmakers and stay home and follow health guidelines.

“So Coloradans can help Coloradans by doing this, and if you choose not to you are actively being part of the problem.”

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