For weeks, the operating room at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida was nearly empty—a casualty of restrictions on elective procedures that the majority of states have implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But that all changed this week, when Florida Gov. Ron De Santis lifted his state’s ban on elective surgeries. By Monday, an employee in the surgical department told The Daily Beast, the Good Samaritan operating room was back to three-quarters of its pre-pandemic capacity. And not everyone was happy.
The employee, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of professional retaliation, said the hospital was still running low on basic medical supplies, like syringes and surgical jackets. Four boxes of sanitizing wipes were being split between the hospital’s eight operating rooms. Hospital policy allotted the employee one N95 mask per shift, he said, during which he could easily be in the operating room with six or more patients. As of this week, a new policy dictated that the masks would be sanitized and reused over multiple shifts…
“It’s a constant battle for the proper PPE,” said Alexandria Culter, a dietary services worker at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). “We need more masks, we need more gloves, we need more cleaning supplies.”
“There’s a possibility that these patients can come in for a surgery for one thing and leave with another,” she added.