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Personal Protective Equipment: Orthopaedic Surgeons Face Ongoing Supply Chain Crisis



Many individuals demonstrated not only altruism but also innovation to help manage a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, a few of whom are highlighted in this article. PPE can include cloth masks, made of woven fabric, often of natural fibers such as cotton; medical/surgical masks with nonwoven fabric, often of manufactured fibers such as polypropylene; and respirators such as N95s and, in Europe, FFP2s, which are made of even more tightly meshed polypropylene, which can exclude viral particles.


Using existing materials and skills to make PPE


Julie A. Dodds, MD, FAAOS, is an orthopaedic sports surgeon at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital in East Lansing, Mich. Her sports practice was shut down in mid-March due to COVID-19, so she expanded her healthcare reach into voluntary mass production of masks. She realized early on that she had time on her hands, had the prerequisite skills, and wanted to help as much as possible. She now considers herself an official “maskologist,” as she has done a fair amount of research on masks, including medical masks, cloth masks, and N95s.


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