By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hospitals across the nation are still facing dire shortages of tests as well as protective equipment. That’s according to a new federal report that came out Monday.

Some hospitals are scrambling to stock toilet paper, others are looking to buy face masks from nail salons and some have even bought expired personal protective equipment, like gloves and gowns, for its medical staff.

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Those are just some of the findings from a report by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General.

“We spoke with 325 hospitals and we had sort of an idea but the range really surprised us. The survey was conducted over five days, during the last week of March,” Ruth Ann Dorrill from the Inspector General’s Office said.

“We are reusing N95 masks unless they become soiled,” Dr. Sam Krass said.

Krass is an emergency physician at a Montgomery County hospital and says his staff is trying to make do with the resources they have the best they can.

But the reality is, without the proper equipment and materials, they could be risking their own health and safety.

“It’s frightening. We go to work, we’re on the frontlines and it’s scary,” he said. “This is on my mind throughout the day.”


“Hospitals are asking for help,” Dorrill said.

The report also points out since its interviews from two weeks ago, situations in some hospitals may have improved but others may have worsened.