Direct Relief is sending an urgent shipment of medicines and supplies to its health center partner in Salinas, California to help people affected by the Pfeiffer Fire in Big Sur.
Though the fire – which burned more than 900 acres and forced about 100 people to evacuate – is now contained, staff at Clinica de Salud de Valle de Salinas report an increase in patients with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD,) who needed respiratory assistance.
The delivery, worth more than $3,000 wholesale, contains N-95 particulate face masks, medicines and supplies for people with asthma, including inhalers and nebulizers, and other basic medical supplies requested by Clinica de Salud. With more than eight clinic sites as well as a mobile vehicle in the area, the supplies will be distributed to Clinica de Salud’s locations seeing the most patients seeking fire-related treatment.
During major fires, the smoke, ashes, and particulate matter in the air can exacerbate symptoms in people with chronic respiratory conditions. When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people can experience symptoms of abnormal breathing, coughing, chest discomfort and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Direct Relief has worked with Clinica de Salud de Valle de Salinas for nearly five years. Its ongoing partnership with the clinic, sending medicines and supplies year-round to help treat their patients most in need, allows the team to respond quickly and efficiently during emergencies such as this one.
*January 2, 2014 update: The last shipment or requested supplies leaves today for Salinas. It contains allergy relief medicine for people experiencing congestion from poor air quality ans well as more than 300 inhalers.