Reopening and the strain on PPE
Can re-opening of our economies occur safely without significantly impacting PPE availability for critical care?
The global PPE supply chains are continuing to struggle to keep up with demand. Globally more and more countries are mandating the use of PPE in public life and availability of raw materials for the production of PPE is under pressure and represents a potential for further disruptions.
Apart from availability, cost is an important factor as hospitals and care homes see their budgets under pressure. Through research better application protocols for PPE use are being sought in an effort to stop unnecessary (over) consumption for PPE. In context of the unknowns about the virus, the delicate balance this represents becomes very evident.
In light of resurgence of the virus or the second wave, the system aspires to have better control over the requirements and help provide insight for all the actors in the supply chain to better understand demand and demand peaks. Science continues to investigate these issues and provide recommendations.
In parallel, enhancing the global and local production capacity and alternative means of production continue to be a priority.
Better insight in what a resurgence could look like will provide us with better means to predict PPE requirements and see if the current availability will be sufficient to manage the front line needs in conjunction with the general population use. It is not unforeseeable that we would have to make some tough decisions and sacrifices for the good of our healthcare workers in the coming times.