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Strategies to optimize the supply of PPE and equipment during shortages
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  • Description:
    Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used every day by healthcare personnel (HCP) to protect themselves, patients, and others when providing care. PPE helps protect HCP from many hazards encountered in healthcare facilities.

    The greatly increased need for PPE caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused PPE shortages, posing a tremendous challenge to the U.S. healthcare system. Healthcare facilities are having difficulty accessing the needed PPE and are having to identify alternate ways to provide patient care.

    Surge capacity refers to the ability to manage a sudden, increase in patient volume that would otherwise severely challenge or exceed the present capacity of a facility. While there are no commonly accepted measurements or triggers to distinguish surge capacity from daily patient care capacity, surge capacity is a useful framework to approach a decreased supply of PPE during the COVID-19 response. To help healthcare facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE in response to COVID-19, CDC has developed a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)_Burn Rate Calculator. Three general strata have been used to describe surge capacity and can be used to prioritize measures to conserve PPE supplies along the continuum of care.

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