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Muskegon's Mercy Health Hackley Campus nurses file complaint with state over supply donations

N95 mask photo
Wikimedia Commons
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Nurses working at Muskegon’s Mercy Health Hackley Campus have filed a complaint with the state of Michigan after the hospital denied them use of donated protective masks for treating COVID-19 patients.

There’s a shortage of medical supplies designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19. In particular, N95 masks. Recently, nurses from Muskegon’s Mercy Health Hackley Campus posted requests for donations on social media.

“There has been like isolation gowns. There have been N95 masks. There’s been regular surgical masks. There’s been gloves that have all been donated.”

Jen Parks is Vice President of the Mercy Health Partners RN Staff Council, the local affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association. When hospital administrators told the staff of 450 registered nurses this weekend that they could not use the donated supplies, the nurses association filed a complaint with the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

“Surgical masks that the hospital’s providing does not protect you from the virus. So, you have all of these frontline nurses with patients who are not being tested, and they’re only able to wear a regular surgical mask which does not filter out microparticles on how the virus spreads. Which is why the N95 needs to be worn.”

Mercy Health says as it tries to manage Personal Protective Equipment colleagues caring for COVID-19 patients should use hospital issued N95 or PAPR and hospital issued masks for routine care of COVID-19 and those patients under investigation. Mercy says its nurses can use community donated or homemade mask for colleagues caring for non-COVID19 and non-PUI patients.

I’m Patrick Center

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