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This quick reference summarizes CDC’s strategies to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies in healthcare settings and provides links to CDC’s full guidance documents on optimizing supplies. These strategies offer a continuum of options using the framework of surge capacity when PPE supplies are stressed, running low, or absent. When using these strategies, healthcare facilities should:

  • Consider these options and implement them sequentially
  • Understand their current PPE inventory, supply chain, and utilization rate
  • Train healthcare personnel on PPE use and have them demonstrate competency with donning and doffing any PPE ensemble that is used to perform job responsibilities
  • As PPE availability returns to normal, promptly resume standard practices

Conventional Capacity strategies that should already be in place as part of general infection prevention and control plans in healthcare settings. Contingency Capacity strategies that can be used during periods of anticipated PPE shortages. Crisis Capacity* strategies that can be used when supplies cannot meet the facility’s current or anticipated PPE utilization rate. *Not commensurate with U.S. standards of care

 

For All PPE Types:

Conventional
  • Use physical barriers and other engineering controls
  • Limit number of patients going to hospital or outpatient settings
  • Use telemedicine whenever possible
  • Exclude all HCP not directly involved in patient care
  • Limit face-to-face HCP encounters with patients
  • Exclude visitors to patients with known or suspected COVID-19
  • Cohort patients and/or HCP
Contingency
  • Selectively cancel elective and non-urgent procedures and appointments for which PPE is typically used by HCP
  • Decrease length of hospital stay for medically stable patients with COVID-19
Crisis
  • Cancel all elective and non-urgent procedures and appointments for which PPE is typically used by HCP
Conventional
Contingency
Crisis
Conventional
  • Use facemasks according to product labeling and local, state, and federal requirements
  • Additional guidance
Contingency
  • Place facemasks in a secure and monitored site
  • Provide facemasks to symptomatic patients upon check-in at entry points
  • Implement extended use of facemasks
  • Restrict facemasks for use by HCP, rather than asymptomatic patients (who might use cloth face coverings) for source control
  • Additional guidance
Crisis
  • Use facemasks beyond the manufacturer-designated shelf life during patient care activities
  • Implement limited re-use of facemasks
  • Prioritize facemasks for selected activities such as essential surgeries, activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated, prolonged face-to-face contact with an infectious patient, and aerosol-generating procedures

When no facemasks are available:

 

Gowns

Conventional
Contingency
Crisis
  • Extend the use of isolation gowns
  • Re-use cloth isolation gowns
  • Prioritize gowns for activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated and during high-contact patient care

When no gowns are available:

  • Consider using gown alternatives that have not been evaluated as effective
  • Additional guidance
Conventional
  • Use eye protection according to product labeling and local, state, and federal requirements
  • Additional guidance
Contingency
  • Shift eye protection supplies from disposable to reusable devices
  • Extend the use of eye protection
  • Additional guidance
Crisis
  • Use eye protection devices beyond the manufacturer-designated shelf life
  • Prioritize eye protection for activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated or prolonged face-to-face or close contact is unavoidable
  • Consider using safety glasses that cover the sides of eyes
  • Additional guidance

 

Gloves

Conventional
Contingency
  • Use gloves past their manufacturer-designated shelf life for training activities
  • Use gloves conforming to other U.S. and international standards
  • Additional guidance
Crisis
  • Use gloves past their manufacturer-designated shelf life for healthcare delivery
  • Prioritize the use of non-sterile disposable gloves
  • Consider non-healthcare glove alternatives
  • Extend the use of disposable medical gloves
  • Additional guidance

To help you better estimate your needs, use the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator excel icon[3 sheets] is a spreadsheet-based model that will help healthcare facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Non-healthcare facilities such as correctional facilities may also find this tool useful.

To use the calculator, enter the number of full boxes of each type of PPE in stock (gowns, gloves, surgical masks, respirators, and face shields, for example) and the total number of patients at your facility. The tool will calculate the average consumption rate, also referred to as a “burn rate,” for each type of PPE entered in the spreadsheet. This information can then be used to estimate how long the remaining supply of PPE will last, based on the average consumption rate. Using the calculator can help facilities make order projections for future needs.

 

CREDIT: CDC.GOV

Universal Services Foundation LLC

Universal Services Foundation LLC

Universal Services Foundation LLC provides access to manufacturers and direct importers for large PPE purchases, facilitating transactions and ensuring due diligence and compliance. We are available to coordinate your purchases and/or negotiate your contracts. For smaller purchases, we can supply your needs from our verified supplier network. Call us today to see how we can ease your supply chain stress.
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