Hospitals across the country are bracing for a surge of COVID-19 cases if they are not already under siege, like in New York City. One of the big concerns on hospital workers as reported by numerous news outlets is the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
When you or I go to the doctor, we are used to seeing the doctor or nurse put on gloves to examine us, sometimes they will wear a faceguard or simple mask, but those are in short supply, so hospitals are now making plans to ration medical services.
MyCurbToGo would like to ask you to donate your excess or stockpiled PPE to a local hospital or emergency service organization. If you don’t know where to start, call your county department of public health, emergency medical service (EMS) provider or your community hospital. Drop it off, boxed, bagged in its original containers. They can’t accept second hard, used or unknown equipment.
Current Situation: COVID-19 and the Need for PPE
In some smaller or rural hospitals, where they have little protective gear, even a few COVID-19 patients will exhaust their supplies within days. In larger hospitals, which say their supplies are sufficient for now, don’t know how they will be able to restock as more patients arrive daily. Across the nation, hospital managers are securing up gear including masks, gowns and face shields.
The latest updates on coronavirus in the United States: At least 2,144 American’s have died out of more than 122,000 diagnosed as a result COVID-19 as the state experiences a public health disaster according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. New York continues to be the epicenter in the outbreak in the United States with California and Washington State following suit, with 53,399, 5,551 and 4,310 cases respectively, but an additional 16 states have more than 1,000 cases each reported.
For our frontline defenders of life, PPE is of critical need. Imagine sending a soldier to the front lines in Afghanistan or Iran without a helmet or bulletproof vest, we have to ensure that those great people who are standing the line for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are protected. In this case, doctors, nurses, EMS crews and those who support them in their life-saving efforts.
In Texas, where the number of COVID-19 cases is growing the Texas Tribune published Texas hospitals brace for coronavirus surge with uncertain stocks of protective gear on March 25, 2020. Check out what their medical association has to say on the need for PPE.
“Physicians and the rest of the health care team cannot be thrown into battle poorly equipped. We cannot safely test, examine, or treat our patients without protective masks, gowns, gloves, and other equipment,” David Fleeger, the president of the Texas Medical Association, said in a written statement Tuesday.
Calling the state’s shortage of gear “unacceptable,” Fleeger said that “the time for PPE to go anywhere other than the front lines has passed. All supply chains from industry (oil and gas, technology companies that use clean rooms, construction, auto body shops, and, yes, even dentistry and veterinary medicine) must now go to our doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals. There is no other option. This needs to happen immediately.”
As private suppliers struggle to meet demand, hospitals and clinics are seeking donations, accepting castoffs from university laboratories and community members, and exhorting local seamstresses to sew cloth versions they say might be better than nothing.
According to National Nurses United: National Nurses United RN members are touched and extremely grateful for the many people graciously offering their time and effort to produce homemade masks from cloth and similar materials at a time when our members are severely short of proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
It is true that if nurses are infected and become sick, all of us are at greater risk. If we are sick, who will take care of patients in the face of this terrifying pandemic?
Unfortunately, homemade masks are insufficient to protect nurses and other health care workers from becoming infected if exposed to a patient with the COVID-19 virus. The outcome will be a greater risk of becoming infected themselves and greater risk of infecting everyone else around them — patients and other health care staff.
More information on what is being done about the shortage of PPE on Healthline in their article: There Isn’t Enough Medical Gear for Doctors and Nurses: What People Are Doing to Help