Givebox Technology Foundation has partnered with Clara to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. We chatted with Clara’s Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kristen Kent, to discuss the importance of PPE and how you can help get masks and other necessary equipment to those in need…
What is Personal Protective Equipment, and why is it important?
“COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is causing a global health emergency. Emergency staff is on the frontlines, and right now, they have inadequate personal protective equipment or PPE. What I mean by this is that many emergency facilities are out of masks, gloves, eye shields, and gowns. Staff are out of masks and still go to work and care for patients in populations where there is a high incidence of COVID-19 infection. In the current situation, most staff will become sick, and some will die. You may know that the CDC has suggested that “in settings where facemasks are not available, healthcare personnel might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for the care of patients with COVID-19; as a last resort.” As a physician, I know that science has shown that a bandana and a scarf will not protect anyone from COVID-19, and the CDC’s recommendation only shows our desperate reality.” How will the funds raised make a difference? “In addition to my work at Clara, I am the President of the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (NYAAEM). NYAAEM has collaborated with FemInEM to set up a distribution system matching those who can supply PPE with departments and facilities in need. We are working hard to help turn the tide of COVID19 but not without your help. The funds raised will help with shipping and materials for teams of seamstresses working from home, making this fundraiser a critical part of our plan to get PPE to emergency physicians, staff, and their patients.”
Can you share a bit about how the healthcare industry has been impacted by COVID-19?
“Life is entirely different now. Colleagues go to work and care for patients with COVID19, and they do this knowing the genuine risk of death for them when they work with the current resources. They are overworked in an overstressed healthcare system.
They split their homes into “hot zones” (where healthcare staff live” and “cold zones” where the rest of their family. Or, they split their family up and live in separate places, so they don’t risk infecting their family. Everyone is exhausted. Many are already sick. Some will die.”
How can those reading this help?
“There are a few ways to help. The first way is by making a monetary donation to help us get PPE to those who need it – our donation form can be found by clicking here. Additionally, if you have PPE that you can supply, we will be grateful to take it and get it to those in need – email me at [email protected] for more information.
Lastly, the way we can all help is by staying home and practicing social distancing. I genuinely have never imagined this, but I very much think we can turn this tide. At this time, we need to be at our smartest, at our best, and work together.”