GOWN SHORTAGES: The current Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it just in the past three months.

We are all waiting for life to return to normal, but some of these changes are sure to become permanent. Efforts to abide by new recommendations from health experts and requirements from the government have certainly led to some decrease in the spread of covid-19. Despite this, we watch the numbers of cases and deaths rise and sadly see our attempts are not enough. We are all constantly searching for ways to keep ourselves and our families safe in this outbreak.

The risks of our situation with covid-19 are further complicated by the lack of correct personal protective equipment (PPE) that would increase our chances of staying healthy. At the forefront of this concern is the struggle to find face masks for sale. Although still considered optional many states are requiring the use of cloth coverings and it is expected that face masks will become mandatory in the near future.

The general public scrambles to find reusable cloth masks so that the best options can be left to medical personnel who are constantly interacting with infected individuals. Workers in human medicine are feeling the strain from limited N95 respirators and surgical masks. A lesser known need that is affecting the medical community is the current shortage on hospital gowns.

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Hospital gowns are worn by anyone involved in surgical operations.

During normal times, hospital gowns are worn by anyone involved in surgical operations, those taking care of people with infectious illnesses, and those working with patients who have compromised immune systems. Non-surgical hospital gowns are also used in laboratories analyzing human bodily fluids, and in some cases for hospital visitors. Now, hospital gowns are coveted to protect healthcare personnel from coming into contact with covid-19 particles on their skin and clothes.

Guidelines to prevent the spread of covid-19 have caused hospitals to revise their policies for access. In some places, only the injured or ill can enter, unaccompanied by anyone else unless they are underage.  Patients infected with covid-19 are restricted access to visitors, but in compassionate circumstances, visits may be allowed.

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“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to make masks available communities across America, and around the world.” said the Invisible Defender Team.

Visitors should have their own gown.

In these cases, it is essential to provide the visitor with their own hospital gown while they are in the isolation unit, to protect their health and prevent them from causing contamination as they walk through different floors of the hospital.

Those who work in birthing units are also feeling the pressure from a lack of hospital gowns. Midwives, doctors, and nurses who attend births are still providing care to pregnant or laboring patients with covid-19.

Even in perfectly healthy individuals bringing new life into the world, hospital gowns are still necessary for their care givers to protect their clothing. A shortage means fewer gowns are available for birthing units. Many midwives in particular are calling out to the public for help as any supply of hospital gowns will allow them to provide better care to their patients.