Mask shortage straps pharmacists who need them to keep medicines pure

Mask shortage straps pharmacists who need them to keep medicines pure
Senior Airman Alexis Lopez, dental assistant with the 319th Medical Group, demonstrates proper sanitary procedure by putting on a face mask at the medical treatment facility at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., Sept. 7, 2017. Lopez said in addition to personal sanitation, there are also multiple steps taken to ensure treatment rooms are sanitary and prepared for patient use. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

Pharmacy staff who prepare IV drugs inside hospitals are the latest health care workers decrying a shortage of masksas they scramble to prepare medications for patients with everything from cancer to COVID-19.The staffers wear surgical masks while preparing liquid medications injected into patients’ veins to avoid breathing any droplets of saliva into the formulas, a crucial step in ensuring the medication remains sterile. Pharmacists are also in need of N95 masks to protect them as they counsel patients at hospitals — but tend to be behind front-line medical providers in line for protective g...


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