Shock as Ninewells nurses find protective masks with expiry dates from 2016 on box – Evening Telegraph

Posted: April 10, 2020 at 5:43 pm

NHS Tayside has moved to allay staff concerns over a batch of protective masks discovered to have been four years past their use-by date.

A group of terrified nurses at Ninewells were shocked after they peeled off a sticker on a box of masks which had an expiry date of August 2021 to reveal an original expiry date of August 2016 printed underneath.

However, Scotlands chief deputy medical officer Dr Gregor Smith had written to seniormedical staff last month, saying the equipment had been subject to rigorous assessment and shelf-life extension by the manufacturer, and was safe to use.

One nurse contacted the Tele to say she and colleagues felt furious and sick when they found the 2016 date.

The Ninewells nurse, who asked not to be identified, said the discovery was made aftersome of the masks were stained when they were taken out of the box.

She said: We found stained masks, then looked at the boxes, and thats when we peeled off the stickers.

Were furious and feel sick that they would treat us like that we should have been toldabout this. Its left colleagues terrified.

A former staff nurse at one of the hospitals busiest wards said the situation was awful.

The woman, who recently retired, said: Im still in touch with former colleagues, a lot of whom are treating people with coronavirus, as a lot of non-essential surgery has been postponed so they have capacity for people with Covid-19.

At a time when we are hearing about rising deaths, including frontline health care staff, the last thing they need is further worry like this.

Dr Smiths letter was sent to territorial board chief executives, medical directors, directors of public health, primary care leads, heads of procurement, logistics and stores managers, resilience officers and GP practice managers.

Dr Smith said in his letter: I am writing to you today regarding concerns which have been raised around the stock of facemasks which is being issued to GP Practices this week from national stockpiles.

The stock which has been issued was manufactured by Cardinal/Medline and had an original expiry dating back, typically to 2016. They now have a shelf-life expiry date sticker, typically with a date of 2021.

I would like to clarify that this stock has been subject to rigorous assessment and shelf-life extension by the manufacturer and is therefore safe to use. I hope this allays any concerns you may have.

A spokesman for NHS Tayside said: We have been assured by the Scottish Government thatthis stock of face masks is safe to use as it has been subject to rigorous assessment andshelf-life extension by the manufacturer.

This information has been shared with all staff.

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Shock as Ninewells nurses find protective masks with expiry dates from 2016 on box - Evening Telegraph

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