The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s rule of thumb is to have ready “6 to 8 weeks” of PPE stockpile, while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also recommends the same amount of stockpiling.
These numbers have been analysed long before COVID-19 hit and are based on how an influenza pandemic spreads.
“The HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan assumes that one in five working adults will experience clinical disease in a pandemic influenza outbreak. It also presumes that, in an affected community, a pandemic outbreak will last about 6 to 8 weeks with at least two pandemic disease waves likely to occur,” a Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response Guidance by the OSHA said.
Earlier on we showed you a spreadsheet designed by the CDC that can help you determine how much PPE you are using each day. The spreadsheet is here.
Now, we found another calculator created by by Halyard, a global medical provider, which can help you determine whether your stockpile is sufficient.
The calculator is simple and once you have your burn-rate from the CDC spreadsheet, you can insert some of the numbers in the Halyard tool here to determine if you should increase purchases of PPE.
Please remember to keep “stockpile weeks” at 8 weeks and the calculator will tell you if you are buying enough PPE.
Just remember not to underestimate how much PPE you will need.
Here’s an anecdote: during SARS (the first coronavirus outbreak) in Canada, where the infection was much lower than in Asia, one large hospital reported that at the height of the pandemic the daily consumption of PPE included 3000 disposable gowns, 14,000 pairs of gloves, 18,000 N95 respirators, 9500 ear loop masks, and 500 pairs of goggles. In the first week of the outbreak, the hospital purchased $1 million worth of supplies even though its annual hospital budget was only $50 million!