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West Virginia Office of
Emergency Medical Services

350 Capitol Street
Room 425
Charleston, WV 25301

Toll Free: 1-888--747-8367
OEMS Phone: (304) 558-3956
OEMS Fax: (304) 558-8379
Trauma Phone: (304) 290-9307
Trauma Fax: (304) 558-8379

Best Practices for Procuring Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola Response

On October 20, 2014, CDC issued new guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). HHS has been working closely with PPE manufacturers and distributors in order to maintain visibility on availability of PPE.

Since the issuance of the CDC guidance, there has been a sudden increase in demand for PPE. Across the U.S., availability for these products varies by product type and model, requested quantity, manufacturer, distributor, and geographic region.

  • It is important to note that CDC guidance recommends use of either a PAPR or an N95 respirator. Therefore, if a PAPR is not immediately available, a single-use N95 respirator in combination with single-use (disposable) surgical hood extending to the shoulders and a single use (disposable) full face shield can also be worn. Visit the NIOSH Respirator Trusted Source site to identify respirators meeting the requirements specified in the guidance:
  • CDC recommends use of either a fluid-resistant or impermeable coverall or a fluid-resistant or impermeable gown. Therefore, if a coverall is not immediately available, a single-use, fluid-resistant or impermeable gown that extends to at least mid-calf in combination with single-use, fluid-resistant or impermeable boot covers that extend to at least mid-calf can be worn.

HHS is working with distributors and manufacturers to understand various ways customers may be able to find supplies needed for training and use in evaluation and/or treatment of patients with suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola. The following options may assist hospitals in obtaining PPE.

  • Work within Healthcare Coalitions, local hospitals, and state and local health departments to create plans for sharing available PPE in the event of a suspected or confirmed case of Ebola. A list of State Public Health Department phone numbers( is available./li>
  • Work with your distributor, Group Purchasing Organization (GPO), or Healthcare Coalition to discuss substitute brands, timelines, and terms of your contract to determine if viable alternative products are in stock that can substitute for your request.
  • Contact manufacturers of product to note your interest in purchasing additional product. Manufacturers may not increase production of items unless they are sure of future orders. Reporting your interest to them may assist in their decision-making. There may still be a 6-10 week timeline before product is delivered due to production and shipment times.
  • Consider non-traditional supply partners such as industrial distributors and retailers.
  • While manufacturers report that they are increasing production of PPE products and distributors are identifying ways to provide requested quantities and meet delivery timelines, some products may be available but in lower quantities than requested or with a longer delivery time than requested.
  • If your facility suspects or identifies a case of Ebola, contact your state health department to facilitate additional assistance.

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