The health network is preparing to shortage of equipment

Le réseau de la santé se prépare à la pénurie d’équipement

The health network is preparing its staff to re-use masks and other protective equipment in a context where a shortage may occur in a few days.

Last week, the national director of public health, Horacio Arruda, had warned that new guidelines were in preparation.

“At any given time, if there was a shortage of masks, the N95, is that they can be re-sterilized ? There are plenty of questions that are asked, and then the people developing these scenarios-there, ” he said.

These directives were issued on Tuesday, the same day that the prime minister François Legault announced that a shortage of protective equipment was imminent. According to the estimates yesterday, the reservations are still available for a week.

The new guidelines have been released by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ). In the documents, instructions to staff are planned as soon as the imminent danger of a shortage. These constrict when the scarcity becomes real.

The INSPQ warns the staff that these measures are ” exceptional “. The agency recognizes that certain uses of the equipment proposed in the document ” are not based on best practices in prevention and control of infections “. They rely ” on the current knowledge of the COVID-19 “.


In addition, our Bureau of investigation has learned that the government will provide $ 6.9 million to the Jean Coutu Group for the transfer of a supply of N95 masks. Mr. Legault had announced the agreement for an inventory of 1.2 million masks Tuesday, without, however, specifying the value.

On Tuesday, a first stock of 200 000 masks was going to be transferred and the rest should follow, said a spokesman for Jean Coutu, Catherine Latendresse.

“They are passed over the network as and to the extent that we receive “, she said.

Ms. Latendresse said that Jean Coutu has put these masks available to the government ” at cost “.

According to our information, the cost per unit is $ 5.75, Jean Coutu has not commented.


Yesterday, Mr. Legault has also announced a donation of protective equipment for Air Transat. The air carrier particular gift 7260 N95 masks and 36 800 surgical masks.

Desjardins group also announced a donation of 60 000 masks, of which 20 000 N95, to prevent the shortage.

— With the collaboration of Dominique Cambron-Goulet

What to do in case of real scarcity of :


  • Reuse to certain conditions
  • Use of masks without compliance test certified
  • Prefer to use a handkerchief or tissue for patients


  • Use blouses, washable, while respecting the withdrawal technique to avoid contamination
  • Wearing the gown, disposable or washable is recommended that Gloves
  • No restatement (or reuse gloves) is recommended


  • Use beyond the expiry date, ensuring its integrity
  • Reuse it unless it is visibly soiled, damaged, and breathing is difficult
  • Affect patients with the COVID-19 of the staff have already had the disease


  • Consider similar protection (like safety glasses) which covers the side of the eyes
  • Reuse in sanitizer between each use