The spread of COVID-19 in the United States and other countries has led to affecting the supply chain of personal protective equipment (PPE) used in hospitals. The shortage of PPE during the early stages of the spread of the pandemic was associated with the fact that the majority of masks, gloves, and other PPE are produced in China, where the outbreak of the coronavirus disease was observed. Currently, the demand for different types of PPE is incomparably higher than it was two years ago (Burki, 2020). As a result, today researchers are interested in examining the data on improving supply chains for hospitals to prevent further shortages of masks, face shields, and gloves and on finding alternative ways for PPE management. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the available scientific and analytical data on the aspects of PPE supply chains and management in the USA and worldwide.
The analytical and statistical data related to the problem address the supply chain issue concerning reporting the quantities of PPE manufactured to be used in hospitals. In his article, Burki (2020) discusses all the aspects of the PPE shortage, focusing on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) activities to address the problem. Furthermore, according to Burki (2020), before the pandemic, China produced 20 million masks a day, and today this number is 110 million items per day. The author provides numerical data on the issue and statistics regarding the current and forecasted demand for PPE in the world: thus, by the end of 2020, the demand for masks can reach 2.2 billion. This source is credible as it is published in a peer-reviewed journal and presents much evidence on the topic. The factual data presented in this article is useful to support the issue discussed with the help of statistics on supply chains.
Analytical data presented in academic sources address the problem of ineffective supply chains for PPE. In their work, Ranney et al. (2020) discuss the current situation in US hospitals regarding the availability of ventilators and PPE. They also propose certain solutions to overcome the shortage with the help of guaranteeing the production of some PPE in the USA. In their narrative article, Ranney et al. (2020) also focus on the necessity of resolving the situation with the help of the government’s efforts. The article is a credible source as it is written by researchers specializing in this topic. The information from the article will be used to explain what approaches should be taken to reconsider ineffective supply chains.
Scientific data on the topic of PPE in hospitals are related to discussing what innovations can be used to address the PPE shortage. Rajak (2020) analyzes different types of innovative approaches to using gloves and masks in medical facilities. The researcher mentions alternative variants of PPE and focuses on global and local innovations in PPE management. Moreover, much attention is paid to discussing various solutions for PPE effective utilization. The article is credible as it is based on the latest research on the topic. The results of the review are important to discuss the alternative approaches to PPE in clinical settings.
The PPE shortage in hospitals is still a problem to be solved in the context of the spread of COVID-19. The summary of the three articles allows for identifying the strengths of these works to present scientific and analytical perspectives on the issue. All the listed articles are effective to inform the analysis of the lack of personal protective equipment in healthcare facilities and provide effective solutions to the problem.
Rajak, K. (2020). COVID-19 crisis prompting innovation in addressing personal protective equipment shortage. Journal of Patan Academy of Health Sciences, 7(1), 69-72. Web.
Ranney, M. L., Griffeth, V., & Jha, A. K. (2020). Critical supply shortages—The need for ventilators and personal protective equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(18), e41. Web.