With PPE in short supply, AVMA urges conservation
Veterinary practices should consider postponing elective procedures and, if feasible, using expired equipment.
Veterinarians can help conserve disposable personal protection equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic by “safely” extending the life of such gear, the American Veterinary Medical Association is advising.
In guidelines released March 20, the AVMA noted that “requests have emerged that all medical professionals, including veterinarians, conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) until supplies become more readily available.”
“Postponing elective procedures that require the use of PPE is one way of conserving,” the AVMA added. “Conservation strategies can also include safely extending the use of disposable PPE, reusing disposable PPE or increased use of washable PPE.”
Veterinary teams shouldn’t rule out using expired gowns and surgical masks.
“These products were designed to serve as protective barriers and thus FDA believes they may still offer some protection even when they are used beyond the manufacturer’s designated shelf life or expiration date,” the guidance stated. “The user should visibly inspect the product prior to use and if there are concerns (such as degraded materials or visible tears) the product should be discarded.”
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