Nurse practitioners fighting coronavirus need more protective equipment
Association of Nurse Practitioners president Sophia Turner says patients are stealing and hoarding supplies in hospitals in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, causing health care providers to improvise on how to protect themselves.
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Ill-equipped nursing homes are rapidly falling prey to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a daily surge in new cases among their vulnerable populations.
While the facilities have been in lockdown for weeks under federal orders to protect residents from the fast-spreading virus, bans on visitors and daily screenings of staffers haven't prevented fresh infections.
"Nursing homes have become an accelerator for the virus because residents, who are generally vulnerable to complications from the virus, are even more so in an enclosed environment like a nursing home," the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said.
Within a 24-hour span, one Maryland nursing home saw cases rise from one confirmed case to more than 64, CMS said, adding that it's only one of hundreds of facilities nationwide with spikes in confirmed cases. A shortage of protective gear and other supplies only complicates matters.
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The agency is urging state and local leaders to consider the needs of long-term care facilities, which serve the elderly and infirm, when allocating such equipment.