Reliance on single-use supplies can leave hospitals vulnerable to shortages

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i'm dr anthony leiserowitz and this is climate connections during the coronavirus pandemic. Many hospitals have struggled with dangerous shortages of personal protective equipment. But joe sherman of the yale school of medicine and public health says the pandemic is not the only reason. Medical supplies can run short. Extreme weather can disrupt manufacturing or transportation and so essentially as an interruption of the supply chain for example hurricane affected production facilities that make medical equipment in puerto rico causing nationwide shortages of critical supplies. Like iv bags. So sherman says it's important to make hospitals more resilient to these interruptions for example by relying less on single use medical supplies there has been this enormous trend toward everything being disposable from simple devices like a blood pressure cuff or even a patient's pillow to very complex surgical devices. Sometimes single use products are necessary for safety. But sherman says many products can be designed for sterilization and reuse. She says that could reduce hospitals reliance on supply chains that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change or a global pandemic. Climate connections is produced by the center for environmental communication to hear more stories like this visit climate. Action's dot org.

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