There is a critical personal protective equipment shortage in hospitals and medical centers.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, healthcare workers on the front lines are experiencing a critical shortage in personal protective equipment (PPE). Hospital and medical center workers are pleading for action as the pandemic spreads and access to PPEs become more scarce.
Because of the shortages, healthcare workers are forced to reuse masks that may have been contaminated. They are exposing themselves to the virus every day to save lives.
Public health experts have advised the general public against stockpiling masks to prevent COVID-19. As the pandemic panic spreads, however, people buy up these essential supplies which leads to widespread storages. This takes them from those who need it most.
How to Donate PPE Supplies
These are some of the PPE items that healthcare workers need:
- N95 masks
- Surgical gowns
- Medical face shields
- Disinfectant wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Infrared thermometers
- And nitrile exam gloves
If you have any of these items, consider donating them. Here are the websites that can help you donate:
- Donate PPE helps connect hospitals and healthcare professionals with their local communities.
- Join and donate through the #100MillionMasks Challenge run by the American Hospital Association. They even have patterns to make DIY "community masks" (for the general public), as well as face shields and surgical shields for healthcare workers.
- PPE Link matches donors and requests based on location, supplies, and other factors. They can even help you donate your DIY masks.
- The Association of American Universities keeps an updated list on their Twitter of university medical centers that are accepting and collecting donations. Follow the @AAUniversities Twitter thread here.
- Many state and local governments are collecting PPE through their websites, including Oregon, Washington, California (Santa Clara County and San Mateo County), and New York. Check online to see if your state or county is doing the same.
- If you live in Seattle, the Seattle Mask Brigade will come pick up PPE in-person and donate to local healthcare centers.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is seeking donations on its website.
- Volunteers in the Bay Area are picking up PPE and dropping it off to local healthcare facilities.
If you’re on social media, follow the hashtag #GetMePPE to learn about more workers in need.