Local healthcare workers express concern over nationwide shortage of supplies

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There’s a nationwide shortage of supplies for healthcare workers, and some local healthcare workers have reached out to the 8 News NOW newsroom to express their concerns.

Because of a nationwide shortage of supplies, new guidelines from the CDC say medical professionals can use an N95 respirator, homemade masks, or even a bandana if they have to.

“The CDC guidelines initially were one mask per patient and we just, we need to stretch that out, so they’ve liberalized the regulation or guidance at per five patients, you should have another N95 mask, but right now we are just trying to do the best we can,” said Jaron Hildebrand, executive director for Nevada State Medical Association.

Hildebrand is part of the effort to get more N95 masks delivered to the state of Nevada. In the meantime, construction companies are donating N95 masks to healthcare facilities as they deal with a shortage.

“All the communities are really coming together,” Hildebrand said.

According to Hildebrand said, facilities are experiencing a shortage of not only masks but also gowns and gloves, but through a mutual aid agreement, resources are shared between hospitals.

The Trump administration says more masks are on the way.

“The masks, as an example, which were really a problem,” President Trump said. “We have helped out, and they’re right now, millions of masks being made.”

8 News NOW reached out to several local hospital groups, but while healthcare workers say they’re concerned about the lack of personal protective equipment or PPE, the groups deny there’s a shortage.

“If the health industry is affected by it, it’s kinda gonna be targeting the whole system; [the] whole Vegas, ya know,” said Jose Triana, Sahara West Urgent Care Wellness?

On Wednesday, Triana told 8 News NOW many who were showing up for a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing at the urgent care he manages were healthcare workers concerned about possible exposure.

“We want to make sure that they’re okay so that they can go back to work and help other people,” Triana said.

The executive director of the Nevada State Medical Association says thousands of masks are expected to arrive in Nevada between Saturday and Monday.

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