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This ER finds alternative ways to stay protected during PPE shortage

HOUSTON – Signature Care ER facility is turning to more creative ways to deal with the personal protection equipment shortage.

Signature Care Nurse Manager Josh Miller said staff is relying on painter suits as protective gear.

"Isolation equipment and personal protective gowns, we can't order those," he said. " We order them, and it automatically cancels it because they have such a huge demand for them. We resulted in buying painter suits. We use painter suits to have a layer of protection."

Miller said the four N95 mask boxes are all of what they have for the next three to four days. Therefore, the staff is having to re-use them.

The number of masks doesn't last long because they are handing them out to anyone who comes through the doors to limit the spread, he said.

"It's hard for us to order them. I believe the panic of the public caused an increase in supply and demand," Miller said.

Signature Care ER Medical Director Samar Yusuf is hoping they don't run out.

"If we ran out of PPE, we would have to make some real tough decisions about how we would take care of patients," he said.

Miller is hoping to make a simple plea with those who don't have to be outside.

"We need to be able to get our supplies that are necessary," Miller said. "If the stay at home order in place, just stay at home, that way you are not having to utilize unnecessary personal protection equipment."

Signature Care is accepting PPE donations at all its facilities throughout the Houston Metro area.