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Workers stocking up on medical supplies as coronavirus outbreak continues



CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Hospitals need more medical supplies and equipment to keep treating the uptick in COVID-19 patients.

Medical workers are trying to make sure supplies and equipment, like masks, are there for people who need them.

Workers at TriHealth say there are enough in their system for several weeks.

"We're also being more conscious about conserving them. So not using them where they aren't absolutely necessary," TriHealth Chief Medical Officer Kevin Joseph said.

TriHealth started collecting and storing a supply in January, and now the community members are stepping in.

"We've asked the community and the community has been exceptional in really reaching out to start creating masks," Joseph said.

Masks made by the community are cloth and they'll have an insert in them. Health care workers will only use them for non-critical situations, but for illnesses like the coronavirus, they'll use the CDC-recommended ones.

Joseph said, "And also we have partnered with some companies that have 3D printers, so that for the shields, the plastic shields, they can start making us some more plastic shields."

Hillrom just made a $3-million donation for more medical equipment. It will go to hospitals around the country.

Howard Karesh is Hillrom's vice president of corporate communications.

"Two of our Progressa ICU beds, a vital signs monitor, as well as three respiratory health technologies," Karesh said.

Things like ventilators, nebulizers that send medicine to the lungs and a machine that loosens mucus to help patients breathe are being donated.

The company's Batesville location makes the hospital beds. The Batesville campus is the company's largest in the world with 1,700 workers there helping make medical equipment.

"This is something that involves employees at facilities all over the world, including Cincinnati's backyard in Batesville," Karesh said.

Medical workers say they're seeing people pulling together during a crisis.

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