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KSAT Trust Index: Do San Antonio hospitals have enough personal protective equipment?

KSAT viewers have asked whether hospitals have enough PPE, so we ran claims through our KSAT Trust Index to make sure that’s the case

SAN ANTONIO – For over a month, local officials have been reporting that there is a good supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the larger local hospitals, and there is no shortage. Even so, KSAT viewers have asked us whether that’s true.

So we ran the claims through our KSAT Trust Index to make sure that’s the case.

METHODIST HEALTH SYSTEM

A spokeswoman for Methodist Health System confirmed their PPE supply is strong.

That's in great part due to their inventive disinfectant system. Methodist Healthcare piloted the use of UV light to disinfect N95 masks and developed the process to safely transport, disinfect and return the masks to healthcare workers.

The system, called Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, or UVGI, is now being used across the country. It allows masks to be sterilized six times before being thrown away, but to be safe, Methodist staff members are tossing them after five uses.

They're currently disinfecting about 200 masks a day for all Methodist facilities.

While Methodist is using UVGI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports two other types of disinfection methods: vaporous hydrogen peroxide and moist heat.

UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM

University Health System sends out weekly updates, including information about the PPE supply.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman confirmed the supply has recently improved, saying, “Now that the supply chains are reopening, we are stocking up. We had previously been on a ‘just-in-time’ inventory management system.”

BAPTIST HEALTH SYSTEM

Baptist health system, including St. Luke’s Hospital, also has no shortages.

A statement from leadership on Wednesday said, “We can safely care for our patients with the supplies we currently have.”

CHRISTUS SANTA ROSA

Christus Santa Rosa hospitals and clinics have a strong supply, saying, “Not to say it hasn’t been a challenge to think creatively, but we are in a really good position right now.”

They have also created a mask repurposing system for Santa Rosa and the Children’s Hospital.

UT HEALTH SA

UT Health San Antonio has clinics and labs across the city, with its health care workers and researchers on the front line.

They say they do not have a shortage and “are closely monitoring our PPE and are providing universal masking to our employees.”

While the supply chain seems sufficient locally, all of these hospitals are still accepting donations of approved PPE supplies.

BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER (BAMC)

BAMC reported Wednesday that its supply is also strong.

During an April 30 news conference, members of the Department of Defense announced they will be “cranking out masks for a very long time” in order to stay ahead of the pandemic.

As part of an ongoing effort to equip service members with PPE, the Defense Logistics Agency continues to work with the military services to get them what they need. The agency has procured more than 5.9 million N95 respirator masks, 14.2 million non-medical and surgical masks, 92.2 million exam gloves, 2.4 million isolation and surgical gowns and 8,000 ventilators.

It’s True

We’ve reviewed information surrounding this topic and confirmed that It’s True.

With all of these confirmations, the information given by officials on local PPE supply is being labeled true on the KSAT Trust Index.

If you have information, pictures or videos that you want KSAT to research and run through the Trust Index, submit it to www.ksat.com/trustindex.


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