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HSE says there's enough protective equipment to keep hospitals 'ticking over' until shipment from China

A consignment of equipment such as masks, gowns and goggles is due to arrive from China on Sunday.

The HSE says goggles are in short supply.
The HSE says goggles are in short supply.
Image: PA Images

THE HSE IS urging hospitals to preserve stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) but says there is enough of a supply available until more arrives next week.

Speaking at a briefing this evening in which the Department of Health confirmed 10 further deaths from Covid-19, Chief Clinical Officer at the HSE Dr Colm Henry said that stocks are running low on some items, but that others are in good supply.

“Contrary to what people may think, we’re running low on certain elements of PPE, goggles in particular and there’s an international shortage of certain elements, such as goggles. So there are other elements, FFP2 masks, respiratory masks we’ve got a good we got a good stock on,” he said.
The shortage of PPE for healthcare workers was raised in the Dáil today and a number of campaigns are underway calling for donations of equipment to Irish hospitals.

A consignment of equipment such as masks, gowns and goggles is due to arrive from China on Sunday and Henry says the HSE is confident about its stocks until that is distributed.

He added that the advice to hospitals in general is to only use such equipment when it is required and to substitute different types of PPE if needed.

“What we’ve advised hospitals from two weeks ago, is using the PPE in appropriate clinical circumstances and to preserve what stocks they have, and also by using substitutions in certain cases, for example where a surgical mask was short, to use an FFP2 mask instead,” he said.

“So that advice has gone out and we’ve also advised on contingency plans should stocks run out, but based on the information that we have now, we’ve believe we’ve enough to bridge us through to delivery from China next week.”

Doctor’s working in St James’s Hospital in Dublin made an appeal this week to various industries for donations of PPE.

The video was shared on Twitter by the hospital’s Chief Respiratory Physiologist, Peter Coss, who directed it at beauticians, hair dressers, construction workers and the people working in pharmaceuticals.

Henry said this evening that any such donations “are welcome”.

“Of course, any stocks are welcome but we at this point in time, even though we’re living in days supply for some elements of PPE, we’re still managing to deliver the stock bar those eye goggles I mentioned, we’re still delivering the stock up that are keeping the hospitals and communities ticking over.”

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Rónán Duffy

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