Surgeries are being postponed because of a surgical gown shortage

Cardinal Health, a large manufacturer of surgical gowns, told customers to stop using its Level 3 surgical gowns. The gown shortage is affecting the whole country and postponing surgeries.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 9:37 AM


When the patriarch of a Boston-area family was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer, the family was told he needed to start treatment immediately.

But at the first oncology appointment at Newton-Wellesley Hospital earlier this month, the family was told he couldn't have the procedure right away, the man's son-in-law told CNN affiliate WBZ. The surgery would have to wait up to two weeks.

The reason? A surgical gown shortage -- one that's affecting the whole country.

Cardinal Health, a large manufacturer of surgical gowns, told customers this month to stop using its Level 3 surgical gowns, along with the procedural packs that contain the gowns.

The company discovered some of the gowns were produced in "unapproved locations that did not maintain proper environmental conditions as required by law, were not registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and were not qualified by Cardinal Health," the company wrote in a statement.

The recall is voluntary and the FDA isn't aware of patients being harmed because of the gowns, the agency said. Yet Cardinal Health has quarantined the gowns, held distribution and "started communication with customers" that the gowns were removed from use.

More than 9 million gowns are included in the recall, including 7.7 million that were distributed to 2,807 facilities across the country.

The FDA said in a statement it is working closely with Cardinal Health to address the issues with the Level 3 gowns, which are worn during instances such as arterial blood draws, inserting IVs and in trauma cases. Level 3 gowns are also used commonly in emergency rooms and are worn to protect hospital workers from infection or illness, according to the FDA.

To temper the impact of the recall, Cardinal Health has been increasing production of similar products and offering its Level 4 gowns instead. It is also working with competitors to bridge the supply gap and has ended the relationship with the manufacturer.

But the company's efforts haven't ceased the impacts of the shortage. Though the man at Newton Wellesley was able to get timely treatment after pressing the hospital, his son-in-law said, patients in other areas of the country have faced delays in treatment.

It's unclear when Cardinal Health will have Level 3 gowns ready for use.

West Lafayette
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Kokomo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 72°
Rensselaer
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 71°
Delphi
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 73°
Turning Warmer & More Humid, Then Big Cool-Down
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 76522

Reported Deaths: 3086
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16194731
Lake7742281
Elkhart495586
Allen4040163
St. Joseph361083
Hamilton2887104
Vanderburgh205313
Hendricks1943108
Cass18069
Johnson1794119
Porter136239
Clark130750
Tippecanoe124511
Madison103066
LaPorte93530
Howard92065
Kosciusko87212
Floyd82249
Bartholomew82147
Marshall79423
Monroe76732
Delaware76052
Vigo71411
Dubois71312
Boone69746
Noble69029
Hancock68839
Jackson5975
Warrick58830
Shelby56828
LaGrange56610
Grant53130
Dearborn51628
Morgan48934
Clinton4504
Henry41820
Wayne38810
White37711
Montgomery36021
Lawrence35727
Harrison35224
Decatur34232
Putnam3218
Daviess27920
Miami2772
Scott27310
Jasper2572
Greene25434
Franklin24715
DeKalb2384
Gibson2334
Jennings22812
Steuben2153
Ripley2138
Carroll2003
Fayette1957
Perry18713
Posey1800
Starke1807
Orange17824
Wells1782
Fulton1732
Wabash1715
Jefferson1662
Knox1640
Whitley1566
Tipton14912
Washington1441
Sullivan1411
Spencer1393
Clay1315
Huntington1273
Randolph1274
Newton12110
Adams1172
Owen1051
Jay920
Rush894
Pulaski821
Fountain762
Brown752
Blackford662
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike620
Vermillion590
Parke551
Switzerland530
Martin500
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0208

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events