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AHN preparing for future with COVID-19 protective equipment

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny Health Network is working to keep hospital staff and patients safe and it’s prepared for whatever lies ahead with protective equipment ready to go.

AHN has partnered with Cranberry-based MSA Safety to give reusable elastomeric respirator masks to staff who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With new information coming out each day regarding research and treatment of the coronavirus, as well as a possible second wave, AHN is keeping a close eye on the situation.

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AHN is currently using MSA’s industrial grade respirator masks that last longer and cost 10 times less per month than disinfecting and reusing single N95 masks.

The masks are not typically used in hospitals, but rather for firefighters and industrial workers.

AHN officials say it’s not clear if there will be a shortage of N95 masks again or how long the pandemic will last, but they believe these masks are the best option to keep everyone safe and healthy in the fight moving forward.

“I think they’re critical. I think of all the personal protective equipment that caregivers are concerned about. When you look at masks, gloves, gowns, it’s the respiratory precautions that they’re the most concerned about having,” Dr. Sri Chalikonda, AHN’s Chief Medical Operations Officer, said.

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