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Hospitals brace for equipment shortages as coronavirus cases surge

Original post made on Mar 25, 2020

As Santa Clara County braces for a large wave of coronavirus patients, hospitals are also preparing for a shortage of masks, gowns, respirators and other critical protective equipment.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 5:14 PM

Comments (10)

24 people like this
Posted by Stupid Question
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 25, 2020 at 6:55 pm

El Camino Hospital Board for years now has been paying its CEOs north of $800,000 a year with the Voice reporting operating profits in the millions of dollars.

My stupid question is why these geniuses never had a plan for a pandemic or a stockpile of respirators and masks?

Thanks for nothing.


8 people like this
Posted by No comments
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:17 pm


Integrated healthcare delivery system Sutter Health has announced its financial performance for 2019. Investment income helped offset the losses associated with operations as the organization ended the year with $114 million in 2019 income. The UFCW/California Attorney General settlement and related litigation expenses, one-time capital costs associated with the opening of the Van Ness Campus in San Francisco, and costs associated with the wildfires and public safety power shutoffs contributed to operating losses of $548 million. Sutter Health posted $737 million in investment income and changes in net unrealized gains and losses from investments in 2019, compared to $(267) million the prior year.


6 people like this
Posted by Lara
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:24 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


13 people like this
Posted by Russ
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Feds had 2 months to ramp up.

Criminal malfeasance.


12 people like this
Posted by Stupid Question
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:35 pm

And what is already heading their way is the fact that they will now deny attempts to resuscitate when patients code, claiming triage protocols. They will claim this saves lives. Understandable, yes. Elderly patients and those with serious underlying conditions will be left to die alone unfortunately. The ironic twist in the balancing act is that these same hospitals made a business of burning through hundreds of thousands of dollars in critical equipment to prolong the lives of critically ill elderly patients only a few days. As the many of the deaths reported by the county indicate, many were elderly patients that we now recognize had little chance of surviving anyway. A few yes, but most no. Regardless the hospitals will bill the insurance companies to recoup. Profits above care. And now they go begging for supplies. It's a fine system we've created. No one said boo all along. Oh and just wait for your premiums to go up.


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Nonsense! Did Santa Clara county had to wait until there were 17 deaths to start asking for N95 mask donations? Total number of tests conducted by Santa Clara County health department is 647 as of March 22. This is not the per day number, it is the total until now! How ridiculous it is that they did not try to increase testing in a hard hit area.

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Lara
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:34 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Carol Scheufele
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2020 at 2:55 am

I remember back when isolation gowns were made of cloth & were placed in covered hampers after use. When hampers were full they were wheeled into nearby larger enclosed bins. Then wheeled to a onsite laundry boiler room plants.They were sterilized in large vats by knowledgeable long time staff.
Then they closed the the laundry department & contracted it out. The linen was trucked to places like Gilroy & back for cleaning (You often got another hospital’s linen back). Going one time use throw away eliminated the need for laundry room staff/employees. Maybe it is time to rethink always relying so heavily on these throw-a-ways under these dire circumstances.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 26, 2020 at 10:46 am

Posted by Carol Scheufele, a resident of another community

>> I remember back [...] knowledgeable long time staff.
>> Then they closed the the laundry department & contracted it out.

This is what happens when bean-counters make serious management decisions. They "optimize" the wrong things to cut costs. Happens every time in every industry. Only, this time, the result is going to be enormous financial costs, and, the lives of many of us are going to be significantly shortened. Nobody will tie it back to all the poor decisions made at so many levels by bean counters. It will probably take three of these disasters in a row before people wise up and remake the system to handle a coronavirus-like pandemic.


2 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 26, 2020 at 2:05 pm

Here's a Pew Research survey on whether the public believes there are shortages. Pretty incredible how few believe there are. Note the political breakdown. Web Link


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