Seattle anesthesiologist Lisa Delport recently shared the story of Dr. John Henao, an anesthesiologist who has had to put his own life at risk due to a quickly dwindling supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at his hospital.
In a now-viral post, she wrote:
“This is an anesthesiologist, Dr. John Henao, who is running out of PPE (personal protective equipment) at his hospital. He, like most of us, are currently working under the assumption that most people are Covid19 positive and asymptomatic, but in order to save our dwindling supplies of PPE, are only using them for known cases of Covid19. In order to safely intubate all patients he had to jerry rig his own gear. He put on a CO2 sampling nasal cannula. He then put on a regular old plastic bag on over his head with a seal (you can see he taped it tightly around his neck). He ran the oxygen at 10 L/min. He sampled his CO2 to monitor. He did this for 10 min (long enough to intubate a patient). THIS is what we have to do because we have no PPE. I am horrified. I cannot even begin to know if this is safe and cannot recommend it. But, sure, we’ll be safe with bandanas, scarves, and homemade cloth masks. (That, folks, is sarcasm). For my friends who are fellow physicians, please be safe, and for those of you who are not, please call or tweet or write your elected officials to demand that we are given adequate equipment in order to treat you safely. #getmePPE”