There have been many pandemics affecting humankind before. The Black Death, small pox, and Spanish influenza most readily come to mind. The details of fighting an invisible attacker and the body count that mounts up in outbreaks seem to belong to the pages of history books that tell us what life was like long ago. Many of us never thought something like this could happen in our lifetime.
Even as some of us watched the news and took note of the new illness devastating China, we focused on it for the moment, then put it out of mind altogether. How could something related to the consumption of bats on the other side of the world affect us so drastically at home?
Even if we considered this virus was on its way to us, well, we’ve survived SARS, MERS, and two kinds of particularly nasty flu viruses (avian and swine influenza) already. Perhaps we should have learned something at the time, but those past diseases did not prepare us for this.
We find ourselves navigating unchartered territory in an effort to protect the especially vulnerable among us. Although we watched the spread of covid-19 from China to South Korea, and marked its deadly process across Europe, especially the awful situation in Italy, we were not able to stop the virus from setting up shop here.
Now we face a second challenge: that of decreased personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE such as face masks, face shields, and hospital gowns are chiefly supplied by foreign retailers. Both foreign and domestic businesses that provide PPE have been fighting high demands for several months now, leaving strained inventories that quickly became overwhelmed in our pandemic.
Disposable PPE, which is now becoming harder to find than a hen with teeth, is being replaced with reusable counterparts. As if the struggle to find reusable PPE wasn’t bad enough, another difficulty has resulted from covid-19: companies are struggling to keep afloat. To slow the spread of the disease, quarantine measures have been put in place, keeping individuals at home.
To facilitate this, the government has shut down all non-essential businesses and some smaller ones have closed altogether for good. This leaves us with the added fear of when this pandemic is over…what will be left?
In this time of crisis, a light shines out to counter both the shortage of reusable PPE and the difficulties of companies pushing to survive the pandemic. Innovative thinkers turn their talents from their designated fields to other interests that better serve the burdens currently placed on communities and healthcare facilities. Pivoting to solve immediate problems of the lack of PPE, companies who are able are using their resources and materials to come to the aid of healthcare workers.
Private citizens also are stepping up. There are new options available for reusable PPE such as face masks and hospital gowns, thanks to the quick thinking and hard work of individuals and businesses. Of course, the limitations of reusable PPE are forefront in our minds (these are discussed at length elsewhere), but let’s concentrate on the best solution that is available as we fight this pandemic.
Although disposable equipment such as N95 respirators and sterile disposable hospital gowns can protect us better, reusable equipment lasts longer. Some items that fall in the disposable category (such as N95 respirators, which are for single use) are heavily recommended to be kept for frontline health workers and first responders.
Companies and communities have come together to build a base for reusable face masks for sale, but a lesser focused-on challenge is the shortage of hospital gowns in hospitals and other healthcare centers. Hospitable gowns are most commonly used for doctors and nurses treating infectious or immunocompromised patients, or laboratory analysts working with human fluids.
These gowns were manufactured to be used in a single encounter with an at-risk patient, and then disposed of. In this way the wearer’s clothing and skin are protected and the spread of disease by the health care worker is limited. The hospital gown can easily go on over scrubs and is easily removed. At the next encounter with an at-risk patient, a new gown is worn.
As we focus on the battle with covid-19, single use of hospital gowns are no longer possible. Too many cases come through the doors for healthcare workers to change gowns between every patient. Dwindling stock was pushed to last longer by keeping the same gown on while seeing different patients. Even this solution was not enough.
As inventory depleted, health centers find themselves hard pressed to protect their numerous doctors, nurses, and other staff who have put themselves in harm’s way of contracting covid-19 in order to care for those who have the contagious virus. Last resort ideas were put into effect, such as workers wearing garbage bags over their clothes in a poor imitation of the hospital gowns they were used to.
Moreover, disposable gowns are made of thin materials of paper and plastic. Can these hospital gowns be cleaned? Considering they easily tear in everyday use, it is unlikely they will withstand the hot temperature and cycles of a washing machine. Meanwhile the situation in hospitals, health offices, and especially in nursing homes (where the most vulnerable to this disease reside), is dire.
Individuals in different communities who know of this problem facing healthcare workers are putting forth strong efforts to contribute to supply. Some fashion companies and even car manufacturers are putting their materials to further this cause.
A new company has sprung into action to join the ranks of those working to correct the hospital gown shortage. Invisible Defender provides a great solution for the shortage of PPE, including reusable hospital gowns. Partnered with American manufacturers and retailers, they are producing face masks and hospital gowns for sale in bulk.
Bulk orders provide two benefits to customers. As Invisible Defender produces reusable hospital gowns in the thousands per day, selling in bulk packages allows them to provide the best price point per unit. Although the hospital gown cost is still likely higher than that of disposable products, the quality of reusable gowns is higher than disposable in regards to its durability.
Buying in bulk also enables health organizations to protect all employees together, and avoid picking and choosing whose need is greatest. Other manufacturers, especially individuals in the community, are not able to keep up with bulk orders to provide this benefit. Purchasing through Invisible Defender allows enough PPE to protect employees as well as the rare hospital visitor permitted to see a loved one in critical condition.
Buying in bulk also allows for multiple gowns per person. If the cost of a bulk order is still hard to swallow, Invisible Defender is equipped with a solution to set any customer at ease. They employ an escrow service to show they are not just out to make money without delivery.
The escrow service component to payment means the money for hospital gown purchase is protected until product is on its way: buy hospital gowns and face masks online, pay half when they’re shipped, and half on delivery. That’s a win-win solution to stop your organization from being taken advantage of by so many new companies who have popped up looking to profit from a difficult and pressurized situation.
Invisible Defender is a great example of how American companies who never gave PPE a second thought before are changing to cope with our new world. This important evolution highlights one way we can protect the future. Support this change in infrastructure in the hopes that if this situation ever repeats, these companies will be better placed to provide PPE to everyone in need.
Although the PPE Invisible Defender supplies is not medical grade, the material is water resistant and the product is ideal for a hospital examination gown. By far the biggest benefit is a hospital gown that can be washed, a feature so critical at this time. Besides hospital gowns, they also supply reusable face masks. As face masks in public are becoming more common, even mandatory, a company that can supply them in bulk is an ace.
Companies pivoting on their own or uniting under new banners are shoring up weaknesses never properly considered before. Now this nation is organizing efforts to create a safety net so that circumstances in another country (or even around the world) might not affect us at home so severely. These companies are likely to stay in place long after covid-19 disappears.
As we focus on the pandemic at hand, we can find hope in the creation of new companies producing PPE in massive amounts to fit the growing need. This injection of supply into our weary healthcare field is going to make a huge difference. For an invisible attacker such as covid-19, we need an Invisible Defender. For more information on Invisible Defender, or to place an order, go here.
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