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State Senator

Saud Anwar

Representing East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor and South Windsor

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Senator Anwar Addresses Letter to Governor Lamont, Commissioners Coleman-Mitchell and Westby Concerning Personal Protective Equipment in Hospitals



Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) addressed a letter to Governor Ned Lamont, Department of Health Commissioner Coleman-Mitchell and Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby regarding a lack of personal protection equipment, or PPE, available to health care and medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without these important resources, Sen. Anwar said, efforts to provide care to patients will be limited and workers will be at risk.

As a medical doctor with specialization in respiratory systems, Sen. Anwar knows firsthand the importance of proper medical protection. Protecting front-line medical staff from becoming infected during this pandemic – including emergency medical technicians, paramedics, doctors, nurses and ancillary staff – will be vital to ensure optimal health care response.

"It is a fact that many medical workers will eventually become sick with COVID-19," Sen. Anwar said. "Other staff members will be required to work up to double their regular hours to accommodate for the lack of personnel. The loss of a few more staff members in an Emergency Department or Intensive Care Unit can throw the entire department into disarray and cost patient lives."

The full text of the letter Senator Anwar sent has been reproduced below.



March 17, 2020

Governor Ned Lamont
State Capitol
210 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106


Commission Renee D. Coleman-Mitchell
Connecticut Department of Health
61 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT 06105

Commission Kurt Westby
Connecticut Department of Labor
200 Folly Brook Boulevard
Wethersfield, CT 06109

Over the past week I have heard from my colleagues in the medical field about the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) available to them in the facilities where they work and about the lack of communication from administrators about remediating this issue.

I would like to highlight the importance of protecting our front-line medical staff from becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 while they treat patients during this the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, doctors, as well as all types of nurses and ancillary staff.

It is a fact that many medical workers will eventually become sick with COVID-19. Other staff members will be required to work up to double their regular hours to accommodate for the lack of personal. The loss of a few more staff members in an Emergency Department or Intensive Care Unit can throw the entire department into disarray and cost patient lives. Just as we are trying to "flatten the curve" with the general population, we must also do so with medical personal to preserve this limited workforce. Unlike the general population, medial workers are not able to simply practice social distancing to prevent infection. They work in proximity with the sick and their only line of defense are PPEs like gloves, gowns, N-95 respirator masks, and disinfectants.

I urge you to reach out to the administrators of various healthcare facility in our state, including hospitals, clinics, primary care facilities, and nursing homes and request that they provide clear communications to their staff about PPEs including existing supplies, when restocking will take place, and instructions to avoid the reuse of PPEs to prevent nosocomial infection. I also urge that you act to ensure PPE supplies are readily available for these facilities.

Sincerely,

M. Saud Anwar, M.D.

 

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