“The chronic, global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the most urgent threats to our collective ability to save lives”– World Health Organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusthe
This time of uncertainty calls for citizens and leaders to protect first responders of the COVID19 healthcare crisis.
Health is a human right; undeniable and existing to all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status and gender. Upholding this very right, a goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) requires that health care professional’s (HCP) be provided with the necessary PPE (N95 masks, gloves, sanitary wipes, plastic shields..etc) to ensure their safety and respect their dignity.
It is extremely heartbreaking to hear both fear and anxiety fill the voices of HCP’s; many of whom are afraid, overwhelmed and worried about the well-being of their patients as well as themselves. We’re living in an age where we shouldn’t have to worry about running out of supplies, yet alone countries in North America have been known to aid and provide developmental aid looking after others. Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel places them at a significant risk of contracting the disease, and still affects them and all around as they are still carriers of the virus. It’s sending professionals to war, to fight on the front-lines without weapons.
When healthcare workers aren’t in their proper capacity to care for the community, province and nation – WE ALL ARE AT RISK!
Equipment necessary that companies, start-ups and volunteers looking to donate to hospitals of community NGO’s/Drives should consider the following; N95 masks, goggles, nitrile gloves, face shields, wipes, disinfectants, coveralls, and shoe covers. They are necessary to protect physicians from aerosols and SARS-CoV2 droplets from patients who pose a risk to them. Protective goggles act as a barrier to transmission where the surfaces of the eyes and eyelashes are hidden from exposure. Coveralls are micro-porous suits, worn over scrubs or clothing to keep COVID19 droplets out, and shoe covers also known as Booties are worn to eliminate floor contact where patients sputum or other bodily fluids may be.
Organizations helping out and for anyone looking to participate in making a difference feel free to check out: Masks for Docs, Stop the Bug, Heroes Need Masks & Real Heroes Need Masks. There are other local community collaborations out there – point is: take part and be an active member. Now is the time for us to tackle the problems of this century and to change history!
The hallways of hospitals in New York are that of a movie. Nurses are crying, starving themselves and unable to sleep. The unprecedented volume of patients entering the emergency seeking help is at an all time high, and this is not even at the United States of America’s peak number of cases…
An increased rise in the number of patients is expected in the coming weeks and it will undoubtedly exhaust limited supplies of PPE. This is a huge worry, concern and a violation of human rights as well as hospital protocols. Enhancing the protection of healthcare fighters is essential for them to continue caring for our loved ones, the sick and patients afflicted by the plague.
HCP’s are literally living their worst nightmare just hoping its a dream. Unfortunately, this is reality now and not only do they have to bare witness to it day in and day out, but they have to continue to remain strong and steadfast for the next couple weeks. With this, they must acknowledge their fate of possibly being the last face many patients see as they succumb to death.
“PPE is like the floor you walk on or the toothbrush you use to brush your teeth. It never occurs to you that it’s a precious commodity until you don’t have it”– Dr. Esther Choo, A Portland Emergency Physician
Hearing the results of a COVID19 test come back positive is extremely heartbreaking for the families of patients who have to stay home, leaving their loved ones alone in isolation to battle for their lives.
Doctors have to learn to adapt to new times, of new situations teaching them to be flexible. Both virtually to prevent transmission and infection, and physically assuring that they’re also learning from the advice offered by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and the Association of American Physicians (AAP).
Professionals are treading a scary path and will require understanding, and cooperation from all members of society. The pandemic is our reality and learning to navigate this new era is of importance, to all sectors of society. This is not at all what I predicted 2020 would bring, and although a terribly emotional one thus far; physicians have to take leadership roles as the heroes of this virus war.
The world may never be the same, and we cannot expect it. One thing for certain is that HCP’s have been trained to act. They are truly the unsung heroes without capes – serving people and their patients, and for this I sincerely thank them.
I cannot wait to join the physician forces at the front-lines, and even though I may not be alive to live through the next pandemic of human history I will do my very best to dedicate my life to humanity.
The Peer Post
To cite this article: Peer, Leah Sarah. (2020, April 16). Inside America’s Hospitals: The Desperate Need for PPE. The Peer Post. https://thepeerpost.wordpress.com/2020/04/04/americas-hospitals-the-desperate-need-for-personal-protective-equipment-ppe/