Do larger hospitals have an advantage in the hunt for N95 masks?

N95 respirator

The N95 respirator is the most important personal protective equipment which prevents the wearer from inhaling harmful airborne particles from entering into an individual’s body. These hazardous airborne particles include bacteria, pollen, mist, mud, and infectious diseases, etc. The N95 respirator can filter out 95 percent of harmful airborne particles, and the N95 respirator is 95 percent effective at the filtration of such airborne particles.

Advantage of larger hospitals in the hunt for N95 masks

The majority of the N95 masks have been provided to large and wealthy hospitals. Similarly, this means that small hospitals have not been provided with ample amounts of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is because they do not have an adequate amount of money to give to the N95 suppliers and manufacturers that the large healthcare corporations have. Another reason why the N95 respirators have been provided to larger hospitals is because of the contacts they have.

Larger hospitals are familiar with high-level government officials and the N95 respirator manufacturers and suppliers. Since they are familiar with one another, it becomes easy for larger hospitals to get ample proportions of N95 respirators. That is why it is quite difficult for small healthcare facilities like nursing homes and healthcare clinics to have sufficient proportions of N95 masks as the larger hospitals do.

Healthcare facilities that have ample amounts of money and contacts with high-level government officials get more N95 respirators. This is because larger hospitals would not want to run out of N95 respirators as that would ruin the reputation of such large healthcare facilities. Therefore, they need to have N95 respirators in stock for their employees and patients. Both large and small healthcare facilities cannot have N95 respirators in ample proportions.

This is because of the severe shortage of N95 masks in the United States of America (USA). The N95 mask shortage arose because of the pandemic, which is COVID-19. When COVID-19 came to the United States, a lot of people ignored the pandemic as though it is not fatal. Similarly, there were a lot of people who purchased ample proportions of N95 masks for themselves and their families. This is because they were terrified of this fatal pandemic. Large healthcare facilities also purchased thousands of N95 respirators for their employees and patients. 

All of this happened within a few weeks, and this led to a shortage of N95 masks. Hundreds of people, who wanted to purchase N95 masks, could not because of the shortage. Due to the shortage, people would not have ample amounts of N95 respirators, and some of them could not protect themselves because of this fatal virus. This led to an increase in COVID-19 cases. The higher authorities recommended people to reuse N95 masks and not waste them to deal with this problem.

The N95 mask has been considered the safest and the best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for an individual’s safety. This is because the N95 respirators can filter out particles whose size is smaller than 0.3um. Particles that are smaller than 0.3um are caused after an infected person breathes and coughs. An N95 mask must be approved by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This means that the quality of this N95 mask is good, it is breathable, and it effectively protects people.

Therefore, one can determine the significance of N95 masks. Because of the shortage, small healthcare facilities like physician offices, nursing homes, and healthcare clinics do not get sufficient proportions of N95 masks. Although smaller hospitals have dealt with 90 percent of the infected COVID-19 patients, they still have not received N95 respirators in ample amounts. 

Instead, bigger hospitals have been given N95 respirators. Rhonda Bergeron, who owns three healthcare clinics in South Louisiana, says that her healthcare facilities would not receive N95 respirators during the start of the pandemic even though her healthcare facilities had converted into COVID-19 testing sites. Her healthcare facilities should have received N95 respirators in adequate amounts, but they did not. She says that it is implausible to combat COVID-19 without N95 respirators.

Another reason why smaller hospitals have not been provided with N95 masks is because of the limited amount of space they have for N95 respirators. Similarly, the larger hospitals have been given N95 masks because of the ample space they have. Dr. Michael Wasserman says that the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns, and N95 masks in the United States shows how weak the healthcare infrastructure of the United States (USA) is. 

He says that larger hospitals have been provided with N95 respirators although smaller healthcare facilities are taking care of elders who have been infected by COVID-19. This shows the priorities of this nation when it comes to treating and taking care of elders. The fact that there is no Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for nursing homes is ridiculous. He further adds that you cannot combat with COVID-19 without PPE like the N95 respirator.

Conclusion

Yes, the larger healthcare facilities like large hospitals have an advantage in the hunt for N95 masks. This is because they have got a large amount of money to pay to the suppliers and manufacturers of N95 respirators. Furthermore, they have got a large amount of space for putting N95 masks in stock instead of smaller healthcare facilities like nursing homes and small healthcare clinics.  

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