News

Covid-19

Protecting Health Workers Amid a Global Shortage of Protective Gear

Direct Relief is accepting donations of PPE

Protective gear for health workers at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara arrives from Direct Relief. The shipment included N95 masks, gloves, gowns and other protective gear requested to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)
Protective gear for health workers at Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara arrives from Direct Relief. The shipment included N95 masks, gloves, gowns and other protective gear requested to prevent the spread of coronavirus. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

The Covid-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for protective equipment for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals being called upon to maintain regular health services and also care for those who become seriously ill and face the risk of death from the effects of the virus.

Direct Relief is working in overdrive to get protective gear into the hands of as many health workers as possible as quickly as possible, with emergency deliveries leaving daily for medical facilities across the U.S.

However, the urgent demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has far exceeded Direct Relief’s emergency stocks, and global shortages have lengthened the time for resupply and caused substantial price hikes.

As a private nonprofit that receives no government funding, Direct Relief’s ability to provide protective gear to nonprofit health centers and clinics that care for the nation’s most vulnerable populations will cease in the coming weeks, absent any resupply.

Therefore, Direct Relief is offering its extensive warehousing and logistics capabilities — free-of-charge — as a way for businesses, individuals, and institutions to distribute any available personal protective gear they have to U.S. health facilities, and is accepting donations of PPE for this purpose.

Specific guidelines are below to assess whether items are appropriate for the healthcare setting.

Direct Relief recognizes and applauds the emergency efforts launched by States and cities to create local exchanges for privately owned stocks of PPE to be donated and channeled to hospitals and health facilities, and encourages interested parties to explore those options as well.

Needed items include:

  • N95 masks (NIOSH-approved)
  • Surgical and procedure masks (FDA-approved)
  • Exam gloves (powder free; nitrile or latex preferred)
  • Isolation gowns/coveralls
  • Goggles
  • Face shields

Items must meet the following criteria:

  • Expiry date: 2020+
  • Minimum quantity: 1 pallet
  • Condition: original packaging

Needed items that meet the above criteria may be shipped to:

Direct Relief
6100 Wallace Becknell Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93117

Drop offs must be scheduled or shipped via FedEx, UPS, or Common Carrier

Related Stories

The Latest