My heart fills when I read stories of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals serving on the front lines, volunteering to travel, or coming back from retirement to fight this war against COVID-19. These incredible, selfless acts of courage are repeated daily and I could not be in greater awe of these professionals. Their leadership instills in all of us a sense of commitment to flatten the curve. If they can come to work every day without assurance that they will have the protective equipment necessary, AND make life and death decisions about who gets ventilators and who doesn’t, then we can look for ways to make a difference too (in addition to staying home and safe distancing).
Our hospitals are the front line of this war. And like other wars, we must do everything we can to strengthen and support our frontline workers. Whether volunteering for the front line, cooking for those who serve, providing groceries for those who have lost their jobs, staying inside, or ringing bells and banging pots when the hospital shifts change, we all have a role to play.
Watching stories of heroic acts and heartbreaking deaths profoundly impacts me. For my entire professional career, I’ve championed an industry that reprocesses medical devices. As professional reprocessors, we are experts in sterilization and performance, as well as medical device cleaning and disinfection that tend to use UV-C (visit https://rzero.com/healthcare/ for more info). We are therefore receiving unprecedented inquiries regarding AMDR’s members’ ability to decontaminate personal protective equipment – products not normally reprocessed. Several AMDR members are working to see if they can disinfect, decontaminate or re-sterilize some of these PPE items.
Our statement on the matter is here (https://mailchi.mp/615e1635b4aa/amdr-summer-reprocessing-newsletter-5142817) and AMDR will update its website when more information is available. These are exceptional circumstances. If called on to reprocess PPE under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization, we will do so without compromising the integrity and safety that our industry has maintained while adhering to FDA and European medical device manufacturer requirements.
These next two weeks are going to be unlike any that we’ve ever experienced. For those on the frontline, we can do this. We have your backs. We could not be prouder of you.