On Sunday, Knoxville Hospital & Clinics announced it will not be accepting hand-sewn face masks.
“The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our top priority. We, along with other health systems, use personal protective equipment (PPE) according to CDC guidelines,” reads a statement on the hospital’s Facebook page.
Rather, the hospital requests donations of personal protective equipment, like N95 masks, gowns or face shields, if available. Those who wish to donate these supplies can call 641-842-1485 to coordinate pick-up.
With coronavirus cases increasing, doctors, nurses and other front-line medical workers across the United States are confronting a shortage of masks, gowns and face shields to protect them from the virus. However, some hospitals are not accepting hand-sewn masks because they do not meet the protective guidelines recommended by the CDC.
According to guidelines, facemasks that are not regulated by the FDA, such as some procedure masks, which are typically used for isolation purposes, may not provide protection against splashes and sprays. In this case, hand-sewn masks would not be regulated by the FDA, and therefore not recommended by some hospitals.
As of Monday afternoon, Knoxville Hospital & Clinics CEO Kevin Kincaid says the hospital is not experiencing any shortages at this time during a county press conference.
“KHC is deeply committed to providing the appropriate level of PPE for all of our colleagues, and we continue to work daily with local and state government agencies and are exploring partnerships with businesses to secure additional PPE as we navigate a national supply challenge. We encourage everyone to practice social distancing and stay home whenever possible,” says the statement.