Find out how you can help!
By: McGill Medical Students Aliya Szpindel, Laurel Walfish & Sabrina Lasry-Shemie
In just over two weeks, Donnez La Protection /Give Protection has collected thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) from over 260 individuals and local businesses for distribution to Quebec hospitals and clinics. Donations collected by the initiative have already been delivered to a number of institutions including the Jewish General Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital, Lakeshore General Hospital and Lasalle Hospital. Donated PPE has also been sent to health centres in northern Quebec, including Centre de santé Inuulitsivik – Puvirnituq and The Mistissini Clinic.
The campaign was started by a group of community members, including physicians, dentists, residents, medical students and other healthcare professionals, who wanted to help avoid Quebec facing PPE shortages that have been an unfortunate reality for many frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, the United States, and Italy.
The concern regarding the lack of supplies in hospitals and clinics has been expressed by healthcare professionals at the frontlines of this pandemic, who risk exposing themselves without the proper protective equipment. Dr Marty Teltscher, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine and an Infectious Disease specialist at the Jewish General Hospital, urges citizens to please leave medical-grade protective equipment for healthcare workers. He emphasizes, “You do not need an N95 mask unless you are a healthcare worker attending to a critically ill patient or performing one of many aerosol generating medical procedures (AGMP).” Local offices and citizens are therefore being asked to donate any available supplies in order to protect both our frontline healthcare workers and their patients during this pandemic.
The DonnezLaProtection.com website is set up to receive requests from healthcare facilities or medical professionals who are in need of supplies. All information disclosed remains confidential, but each healthcare institution is added to an online map to track location of need in the province. Currently, over 60 clinics and hospitals are listed and volunteers from the initiative are working daily to collect and deliver supplies in order to meet urgent needs.
“The current situation with COVID-19 has caused a lot of stress for many, but it has also evoked a call for unity and creativity among people all over Quebec,” says Natanel Sebbag, a 3rd year McGill medical student who has been volunteering his time away from the hospital with Donnez La Protection to collect donations from the community. “With Donnez La Protection we’re seeing individuals as well as businesses from all over the Montreal region donating PPE in this time where they are most needed. It’s been great to see so many people coming together to help healthcare workers, and I am very grateful to be a part of one of these initiatives.”
Donnez La Protection has a plea for all individuals and local businesses, including dental offices, veterinary clinics, laboratories, closed healthcare clinics, construction companies, plumbers, electricians, tattoo studios, nail salons or anyone who may own protective equipment: please donate your personal gear! Donations, including surgical or N95 masks, gloves, goggles and gowns can be registered at donnezlaprotection.com. A representative from the initiative will contact you in short order and make arrangements to pick up your generous donations and promptly distribute them to healthcare professionals in need, all while respecting social distancing directives.
Don’t have any personal protective equipment to donate but still want to help? Volunteers are a vital resource for proper collection and distribution. You can help by participating in contactless delivery of supplies, or by contacting local businesses through a cold calling and email list to solicit donations.
For more information regarding Donnez La Protection, please visit the website at: www.donnezlaprotection.com
For volunteering information, join the volunteer Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/donnezlaprotectionvolunteers/