Monday, March 23, 2020

Here is what you do before you run out of medical equipment


A view of gloves and boots used by medical staff, drying in the sun, at a center for victims of the Ebola virus in Guekedou.

  1.   Nitrile or latex gloves can be rewashed and reused.  Soap and water.  Hang to dry.
  2.   Face shields and goggles can be rewashed and reused--avoid bleach solutions which cloud them.
  3.    Ventilators can be replaced by humans squeezing a bag attached to an endotracheal tube to fill the lungs with a desired concentration of oxygen ("bagging the patient"), just like in surgery. or resuscitation.  I saw this in Vietnam, where the US embargo prohibited companies selling Vietnam parts for ventilators made in the US.  This kept patients with tetanus alive who would have died otherwise.  Do we have enough bags?
  4.    QUESTIONS:  Has anyone discovered how to disinfect N95 masks?  Apparently Battelle has, using exposure for several hours to hydrogen peroxide gas.
  5. How to make shoe covers out of plastic bags?  What fabric can be used for gowns that are breathable yet an effective barrier for coronaviruses, and can be worn for prolonged periods?  Those see-through overgowns don't look trustworthy to me.
On use/reuse of N95 "respirator" masks, CDC notes that over 99% of virus remains on the mask and remains viable for a period of time.  So you can contaminate yourself when you touch the mask.  They must be removed carefully and hands washed after.  Unless you can safely use a mask, you are much better off just staying away from people indoors, unless you live with them.  Don't give yourself a false sense of security because you have a mask.
"Respiratory pathogens on the respirator surface can potentially be transferred by touch to the wearer’s hands and thus risk causing infection through subsequent touching of the mucous membranes of the face (i.e., self-inoculation). While studies have shown that some respiratory pathogens (22-24) remain infectious on respirator surfaces for extended periods of time, in microbial transfer (25-27) and reaerosolization studies (28-32) more than ~99.8% have remained trapped on the respirator after handling or following simulated cough or sneeze."

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