FDA Creates First-Ever Medical Supply Shortage List Including Masks, Swabs And Ventilators

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Friday that it has created its first list of medical supplies that are facing a shortage just hours after President Trump touted the administration’s production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other devices.

In an effort to prevent stockpiling or hoarding of supplies, the list does not reveal the product manufacturers, but lists that ventilators, respirators, masks, surgical gowns, gloves and sterile swabs are on short supply.

The new list comes as cases of COVID-19 see spikes nationwide and record-breaking counts are reported weekly in different states.

This week the U.S. saw its deadliest day in months as more than 1,500 died of the coronavirus on Wednesday, with the total deaths as of Friday topping 168,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. In total, there are more than 5.2 million coronavirus cases in the U.S.

Earlier at a press briefing on Friday, Trump praised the work to increase the Strategic National Stockpile’s supply of some of the products that made the FDA list.

“We have tripled the number of N95 masks on hand to over 40 million, tripled the number of gowns to over 15 million and quadrupled the number of ventilators to 69,000,” Trump said.

PPE supply shortages were commonly reported at the start of the virus, but lockdown efforts and the administration’s use of the Defense Production Act led to a slowdown of hospitalizations and an increase in crucial supplies. Still, some rural hospitals and other health care groups have said they have struggled to keep key supplies in stock.

In early July, a top nurses union warned that the start of new outbreaks could mean more shortages like the ones seen at the start of the pandemic.

“We’re five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks,” Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United, said at the time. “I think overall, production, distribution and access has improved … the fear is that we will become complacent.”


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