IHS Acknowledges Masks Bought In Initial Frenzy From Former White House Official Don’t Meet Standards
The Indian Health Service bought $3 million worth of masks from the newly-formed company of Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff -- a portion of which can't be used because they don't meet FDA standards. In other news on masks: a decontamination machine might fail to live up to its hype, paramedics forced to decide between using masks or saving them and drones offer new delivery method for medical gear.
Masks Sold By Former White House Official To Navajo Hospitals Don’t Meet FDA Standards
The Indian Health Service acknowledged on Wednesday that 1 million respirator masks it purchased from a former Trump White House official do not meet Food and Drug Administration standards for “use in healthcare settings by health care providers.” The IHS statement calls into question why the agency purchased expensive medical gear that it now cannot use as intended. The masks were purchased as part of a frantic agency push to supply Navajo hospitals with desperately needed protective equipment in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. (Torbati and Willis, 5/27)
Questions Mount Over Mask Decontamination Machine Once Hailed As A Game-Changer
Hailed as a “game changer" in the region’s quest for much-needed protective medical gear, a massive machine used to sterilize respirator masks that was rushed into emergency use has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. The machine, which Partners HealthCare arranged to bring to the Boston area in April, has been sharply criticized by some health care workers, with one group saying it treats nurses “like guinea pigs in an experiment.” (Arnett, 5/27)
The Washington Post:
For Paramedics, A Constant Question: Put On More Protective N95 Masks Or Conserve Them?
One view reflects a nationwide reality: With limited supplies of virus-blocking N95 face masks, paramedics responding to 911 calls should limit their use to the most contagious of settings. The other view, from paramedics told to use a less effective mask in the tight confines of an ambulance next to a coughing patient, is just as compelling. And where these views collide — as seen in the operations of one large Maryland fire department — remains a daily source of tension for first responders battling the pandemic. (Morse, 5/27)
The Associated Press:
In Pandemic, Using Drones To Drop Medical Supplies From Sky
With a loud whir and a whoosh, a fixed-wing drone slingshots out of a medical warehouse, zips through hazy skies at 80 mph, pops open a belly hatch and drops a box of medical supplies. Slowed by a little parachute, the box drifts downward and lands with a plop, less than 8 minutes after launch. For North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Basil Yap, it is a eureka moment. (Mendoza, 5/27)
Novant Health To Deliver PPE With Drones
Novant Health will deliver personal protective equipment and medical supplies to its facilities via drones, the health system announced Wednesday. Novant Health has partnered with drone startup Zipline for the program, which the organizations say marks the first time a U.S. hospital has used drones to respond to to the COVID-19 pandemic, for "contactless" distribution of supplies to the health system's facilities in the Charlotte, N.C., metropolitan area. (Cohen, 5/27)