Doctors and nurses in Spain are taping garbage bags to their bodies for protection against the novel coronavirus as supplies dwindle

Flavio Lo Scalzo/ReutersA medical worker wearing a protective mask and suit treats novel coronavirus patients in Italy.
  • Hospitals in Europe are facing a shortage of protective gear for medical workers fighting the spread of novel coronavirus.
  • Some doctors and nurses in Spain have turned to garbage bags for protection.
  • In the US, hospital-set TV shows are donating their equipment to working hospitals and fire stations.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Doctors and nurses at hospitals in Spain are taping garbage bags to their arms in hopes of protecting themselves against contracting the novel coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.

As more people around the world are being admitted into hospitals, medical workers are being forced to ration their protective gear.

Marcia Santini, a registered nurse at an emergency room in California, told Business Insider, “We need to keep our healthcare workers healthy, and if they get sick, that would collapse the healthcare system.” But that’s proving hard to do with limited protective equipment.

A note written in marker on a box of procedure masks in Southern California hospital states that each staff member is allotted one mask for the entirety of their shift.

At a Barcelona hospital, a lack of high-protection masks is leading to doctors and nurses stacking two less-protective surgical masks on top of one another.

“This thing blew up on us,” Dr. Pelayo Pedrero, head of labour risk prevention at doctors’ union AMYTS in Madrid, told Bloomberg. “No one was ready for this. They didn’t buy the supplies, they didn’t prepare the hospitals to receive and treat all these patients. Not just in Madrid or Spain, but all over Europe.”

In the US, different industries are volunteering their factories and production services to help make more equipment and protective gear for medical workers. Different hospital-set television shows including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Resident,” and “The Good Doctor” have announced that they’re donating their stocks of supplies to actual working hospitals, according to The Hollywood Reporter and CNN.

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