Healthcare staff in need of protective equipment despite limited worldwide supplies


WVU Photo/Jenny Shephard

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Despite a worldwide shortage, nurses in the area are in higher need of personal protective equipment than ever before due to the coronavirus pandemic affecting the globe.

According to Benjamin Klos, an instructor at the school of nursing at WVU, nurses rely on personal protective equipment (gloves, gowns, eye shield, etc.) to prevent spreading and contracting illnesses.

Klos said that hospital workers will change gloves anywhere from 50 to 150 times daily, which hasn’t changed much from before the pandemic began, however, where staff used to only wear masks 10 to 20 times per week, that number has now risen exponentially.

Personal protective equipment is also something that is unable to be reused; once a healthcare worker uses a glove, mask or other piece of equipment, it cannot be washed Klos said, and because of that, hospitals are going through supplies at a rapid rate.

Klos said that DIY cloth masks “does not seem beneficial,” and the best way to prevent the spread of infection was to socially isolate and wash hands thoroughly, but that if people have trouble preventing themselves from touching their face, a mask of any kind would be helpful to curb that behavior.

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