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The Problem of PPE Shortage in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

The Problem of PPE Shortage in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

Sample Answer 

The Problem of PPE Shortage in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

Today, there is no question that the financial, social, and health impacts of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (shortened as COVID-19) are overwhelmingly devastating to America and the globe at large (Wu & McGoogan, 2020). The disease is deadly when allowed to progress to pneumonia and organ collapse, even though the milder symptoms are manageable. This highly infectious disease is airborne and is transmitted through droplets of body fluids suspended in the air. With the first case reported in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, COVID-19 has spread rapidly across various parts of the world, threatening to cripple the world economy as well as causing the hospitalization of millions of people and deaths of hundreds of thousands. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Situational Report dated 12 May 2020 shows COVID-19 has infected nearly 4,088,848 (confirmed cases) and caused about 283,153 deaths. The United States alone, which is now leading in terms of both confirmed cases and deaths, has reported 1,298,278 confirmed cases and about 78,652 deaths (World Health Organization, 2020).

One area that has been worse hit and overstretched is the healthcare sector. In particular, besides the severe shortage in the number of qualified health professionals, there have been reports indicating that most care facilities are also facing an acute shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) – critical body garments or wear used by care providers to protect themselves from potential exposure to disease-causing pathogens. For medical workers tasked with handling the highly infectious and airborne COVID-19 virus, the inadequacy touches on all the essential PPEs, including respirators, masks, head covers, gowns, glasses/goggles, gloves, face shields, as well as shoe covers.

Even though the problem is inevitably caused by the overwhelming number of new cases reported daily across the country (which stretches way above 1 million), there has been a growing concern among healthcare workers, oversight bodies, lobby groups, as well as policymakers that a continued shortage in the supply of PPEs might expose physicians, nurses, and other hospital employees to the virus. This is a huge risk and a bigger setback in combatting the disease because doctors are the front-line social workers in this fight. Secondly, there is the fear that exposing healthcare workers to the disease might increase the risk of further spreading the virus to healthy patients.

Even though the shortage seems to vary from state to state and with the type of PPE, there is a general trend showing a direct relationship between the number of the confirmed case in each state and the scarcity, with New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, and California leading the race. In fact, by March 2020, according to New York Times reports by Mike Baker, Matt Richtel, and Andrew Jacobs, the situation was getting out of hand in New York, with leading healthcare centers (such as The Open Cities Community Health Center) threatening to close down if the government was not willing to supply the face masks urgently. Most doctors, as reported by Jacobs, Richtel, & Baker (2020), are increasingly becoming anxious for fear of exposing themselves, their families, and others to the virus. According to Masters (2015), a stressor triggers a multi-stage response, including alarm and resistance, leading to eventual exhaustion at the extremes.

By mid-March 2020, the representative for the American College of Emergency Physicians, Howard K. Mell, reported that the shortage was caused by the unwillingness of the White House to increase the mass production of personal protection equipment via the powers vested in the Defense Production Act. According to Jacobs, Richtel, & Baker (2020), the country’s stockpile has nearly 30 million surgical masks and 12 million N95 masks – which are inadequate, considering that medical workers are required to wear them for 8 hours maximum. However, as highlighted by Yglesias (2020), the government has since then stepped in by ramping up the industrial manufacture of PPEs in the country, with President Trump invoking the Defense Production Act in April, giving manufacturers regulatory relief and guarantees to hasten production. Even though the real implications of these measures are yet to be felt, the general feeling is that they might provide short-term solutions in the coming months.

References

Jacobs, A., Richel, M., & Baker, M. (2020). ‘At war with no Ammo’: Doctors say a shortage of protective gear is dire. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/health/coronavirus-masks-shortage.html

Masters, K. (2015). Nursing theories: A framework for professional practice (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

World Health Organization. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Situation Report -113. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200512-covid-19-sitrep-113.pdf?sfvrsn=feac3b6d_2

Wu, Z., & McGoogan, J. M. (2020). Characteristics of and important lessons for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China. The Journal of the American Medical Association. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2762130

Yglesias, M. (2020). The PPE shortage in America is a crisis – here’s a realistic plan to solve it. VOX. https://www.vox.com/2020/4/15/21219618/ppe-shortage-solution-mercatus

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Question 


The Problem of PPE Shortage in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

Discuss the problem or issue of PPE (personal Protective Equipment) shortage in the clinical setting, that have been encountered since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This should be appropriate for an evidence based project (EBP) project and formulate a researchable question using the PICOT format.

The Problem of PPE Shortage in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

The Problem of PPE Shortage in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

Use APA format avoid the use of direct quotes.

No less than 500 words. APA format is required. All work must be paraphrased. Direct quotes are not to be used.
requires one reference from an English titled, peer-reviewed nursing journal less than five years old. The article for the initial posting must be different than the article for the response to peer posting. The initial posting also requires a reference from the course textbook.

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