COVID-19-associated shortage of alcohol-based hand rubs, face masks, medical gloves, and gowns: proposal for a risk-adapted approach to ensure patient and healthcare worker safety

J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jul;105(3):424-427. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.04.041. Epub 2020 Apr 30.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a huge demand for alcohol-based hand rubs, medical gloves, face masks, and gowns in healthcare and from the public. More and more hospitals face a serious shortage of these articles. We propose a risk-adapted approach to ensure adequate patient and healthcare worker safety for as long as possible.

Keywords: Alcohol-based hand rubs; Coronavirus; Face masks; Medical gloves.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Gloves, Protective / supply & distribution*
  • Hand Sanitizers / supply & distribution*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control*
  • Masks / supply & distribution*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Protective Clothing / supply & distribution*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior


  • Hand Sanitizers