Investment needed to stem surgical supply shortage

By: AMA Queensland
April 18, 2021 - PRLog -- AMA Queensland has called for investment and collaboration between the State Government, manufacturing and start-up sectors to address a worldwide shortage of essential sterilisation wrap.

The wrap, Kimguard, is produced in the United States and used worldwide for various medical needs including as sterilisation wrap for surgical equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which has been in high demand during COVID-19.

AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry commended Queensland Health and Hospital Services throughout the state in their efforts to minimise the use of Kimguard and keep urgent surgeries on track.

"This shortage is no one's fault. It's just an unfortunate side effect of the massive worldwide demand for PPE but it is having an effect on non-urgent surgeries," Professor Perry said.

"I've had to reprioritise some of my own surgical list as a result of the shortage and other AMA Queensland members have reported similar issues."

Professor Perry said doctors and health workers could use some workarounds but a more permanent, innovative and sustainable solution was needed.

"Many businesses have pivoted during COVID and this is another opportunity for local manufacturing to find solutions to meet community and industry needs," he said.

Professor Perry urged Queensland Health to collaborate across the whole of government, industry and private sectors to incentivise local manufacturers and start-ups to fill the shortage.

He also urged the medical profession to audit their use of disposable wraps and instruments to try to reduce waste and consider more environmentally-friendly options

"A simple tonsillectomy can generate three garbage bags full of waste," he said. "We need to find more environmentally-friendly ways to deliver the highest possible health care and sterilisation in a safe, cost effective way."

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Source:AMA Queensland
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