As hospitals and care centers across the nation deal with COVID-19, the need for spare personal protective equipment (PPE) has medical professionals reaching out to the agricultural community to ask for donations.
"Because this disease can be spread before anyone even knows they are ill, doctors may fall prey and still be seeing patients," says Dr. Ashley Sturgeon, surgical director of the department of dermatology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and president of the Lubbock County Medical Society. "Doctors are on the frontlines. They are literally going to war without ammunition to protect themselves. Giving one doctor a mask could save them, their families and their future patients."
The following is a list of critically needed PPE. Materials must not be opened and in their original packaging to avoid contamination.
1. Exam gloves – all sizes, new, in unopened box, not expired)
2. Isolation gowns
3. Bleach wipes
4. Eye shields
5. Face shields
6. Isolation masks
7. N95 masks
8. Hand sanitizer
9. Disinfecting wipes (Clorox/Lysol wipes)
10. Baby Wipes
11. Goggles (medical)
12. Face Masks (medical)
13. Medical Gowns (paper fluid-resistant or plastic)
Homemade mask covers are also needed. "These (N95 masks) are supposed to be single-use masks. The homemade mask covers will extend the life of our PPE's," Sturgeon says. Click here for instructions on how to make approved mask covers.
Those with donations are encouraged to look online for drop-off information for facilities nearest them.
For those in or around Lubbock, contact the Lubbock County Medical Society, (806) 785-7917 or [email protected] They are coordinating the collection and distribution of donated items to Lubbock hospitals and physicians without hospital affiliations, says Juanema Christensen, executive director, Lubbock County Medical Society. After 5 p.m. or on weekends, call (806) 781-1455.