Doctors said Tyvek or similar suits are their most pressing need and may offer better protection against the coronavirus.
Editor’s Note – Hazmat suits have been iconic image of China’s coronavirus fight, but are nowhere to be found in U.S.
DuPont, the giant biotech company, is expediting production and delivery of a product critical to protecting U.S. doctors and nurses during the coronavirus pandemic: Tyvek hazmat suits, which offer medical personnel the best protection from contracting the virus themselves.
Since the pandemic first made its way to the U.S. from China, personal protective gear for practitioners treating the virus, like surgical masks and gloves, has been in dangerously short supply. Physicians interviewed by NBC News say Tyvek suits are their most pressing need — the most effective safeguard, in combination with hats, gloves and masks, available against a virus most likely spreading through stagnant hospital air.
“People are pleading, begging, just for anything. This is how bad it’s gotten,” said Dr. Peter Antevy, an emergency medicine physician in South Florida, adding that a close doctor friend is ill and on a ventilator.
Antevy said he happened to have a contact in China who works near a plant that produces Tyvek suits. He said that since word spread that he had access to a supply of suits, his inbox “is blowing up” with messages from medical professionals and first responders seeking help.
The first shipment, which arrives from Shanghai in Miami this week, is going to the Cleveland Clinic and local hospitals, Antevy said.