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Coronavirus: For Health Care Workers, Risk of Infection, But Also ...
Google has reported that as the world faces a global pandemic, “how to help” is being searched globally at an all-time high. Searches for “how to thank a healthcare provider” have also surged, as nurses, doctors, EMTs, and other medical workers on the front line continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The Freeport- Merrick Rotary Club is also looking for ways to help. We have organized a fundraiser to help one of our dear friends produce and distribute face shields to assist in meeting the need for PPE of staff working in hospitals. So far, they have distributed face shields to three different hospitals within the New York health care system. As they produce more, they will be donated to the central receiving unit for the NYU System in Hempstead and distributed by them, as well as to other facilities that request them. We are asking our fellow Rotarians and anyone else who would like to help to please donate. Even a dollar can help.
Below are some photos of a few grateful healthcare workers that have received a face shield.
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Excerpts from two articles written by  Zoe Schlanger from Time Magazine:
 
Begging for Thermometers, Body Bags, and Gowns: U.S. Health Care Workers Are Dangerously Ill-Equipped to Fight COVID-19
Personal Protective Equipment Market Size, Share | PPE Market ...
 

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow in the U.S., health care facilities nationwide are contending with an increasing crush of patients, and growing more and more desperate for the tools they need to protect themselves from catching and spreading the virus that causes it. A portrait of a desperately ill-equipped medical workforce is emerging from an online survey with 978 respondents, built by a grassroots organization started by doctors trying to get personal protective equipment, commonly called PPE, to facilities where it is needed most. “We could use body bags. And eye shields and gowns!” wrote an employee at a nursing facility on Long Island in New York. “Please we don’t have anything,” wrote an employee at a regional hospital in Miami, Florida. All its beds were full, the employee wrote. They had no gowns left and a week or less of most other PPE.“We are out of everything,” wrote a staffer at a large hospital in Tennessee. “Providers using one mask for 3+ weeks. Many COVID patients. Zero gowns.”

Broken supply chain makes PPE impossible to get for smaller institutions

To say that hospitals are having trouble acquiring supplies is a vast understatement. But the supply chain for medical equipment is so broken that smaller institutions don’t even stand a chance. Much of the U.S. PPE supply is manufactured in Asia, and particularly in China. More than 90% of thermometers for the U.S. market, for example, are made in China. The timeline from manufacturing to transport by ship to delivery to U.S. buyers can be as long as three months, according to a USA Today report. When the coronavirus outbreak began, many East Asian countries began to keep supplies within their borders, as a matter of national security, which restricted supply. Now, with U.S. demand outstripping supply, many U.S. brokers are out of stock. Major hospitals are now resorting to using brokers in East Asia to nab supplies at inflated costs, He says. Supplies like N95 masks are now selling for many times their usual price.

Click the link below to read more

A Newsday Exclusive

By: Paul LaRocco, David Schwartz

Nearly 1,200 hospital staff on Long Island have contracted COVID-19 

Nearly 1,200 Long Island hospital staff have contracted COVID-19, with nurses and their union representatives highlighting continued protective equipment shortages. The numbers, provided by the region's hospitals at Newsday's request, show a partial view of the toll that the coronavirus pandemic has taken as local cases have surged. Though many have since returned to work, the larger facilities, such as Stony Brook University Hospital and those run by Northwell Health in Nassau County, have seen roughly 200 employees each test positive for the virus in recent weeks. Thirteen of the area's hospitals provided COVID-positive employee counts that total 1,175. Eight others, including the major NYU-Winthrop and Good Samaritan medical centers, didn't provide Newsday with data, meaning a conservative projection would put the count well over 1,200.

 Orders to reuse masks and gowns once considered disposable have compounded the inherent dangers that workers face, leading to additional infections, according to the nurses and unions. Staff members who tested positive are being sent back to work before being retested, as long as they haven’t had a fever for 72 hours, some hospital officials said.“We’re still afraid,” said Yasmine Beausejour, a registered nurse at Northwell's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, speaking on behalf of the New York State Nurses Association, where she is the southeastern regional director on its board of directors. “We’re afraid for us, our families. Are we exposing them? "The numbers of hospital staff with the virus ranges from 220 at Stony Brook, to fewer than 100 at Huntington Hospital and Southside Hospital in Bay Shore to 27 at Peconic Bay Hospital in Riverhead. At Stony Brook, the COVID-positive ranks included the chief of trauma, emergency surgery, and surgical critical care. Dr. James Vosswinkel returned to work part-time last Sunday, three weeks after falling ill. “The fear that everyone is experiencing is real," he said. "This is an unknown virus.”

Two Long Island hospital nurses are known to have died after contracting the coronavirus, along with at least five other medical support staff. Huntington Hospital nurse John Abruzzo, 63, of Seaford, died April 2. He worked at the Northwell Health facility for 13 years. Ali Dennis Guillermo, 44, of East Patchogue, died Tuesday after a three-week battle with the virus. Guillermo, an intensive care unit nurse at Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue since 2004, reported symptoms on March 15 and was hospitalized March 25, his wife, Romielyn, said.

Click the link below to read more   https://www.newsday.com/news/health/coronavirus/hospital-covid-19-nurses-1.43778185

Courtesy Clevland Clinic Patient Stories
Nic Brown sat in isolation, struggling to survive on a ventilator, after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The one window he had to life outside his hospital room, became the most impactful window of his life. His caregivers in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) at Cleveland Clinic – where a dedicated team, including doctors and nurses, treat the sickest of the sick – used that pane as a channel for uplifting messages. “Every day I was there, especially when I was on a ventilator and full life support, the staff would write on the window the goals for me to try and reach each day,” says Nic, who is no longer in intensive care. “They would encourage me. One day someone wrote, ‘We will get you home.’”
 
Nic asked one of his nurses to help him write his message of gratitude on the glass door because he was too weak to do it on his own. To return the favor, Nic penned a letter to his care team as he was being moved from the MICU to a step-down unit at the hospital. An excerpt from the message reads: 

"This has been the most impactful window in my life. On days when I watched you work hard to keep me and others alive unable to thank you for the time that you poured into me; although I will probably never get the chance to pour that same love and support into you, I want you to know that I think you all are rock stars. I watched some of you have good nights and some bad nights but what was consistent every night was that you care for people.

Today I leave this ICU a changed person, hopefully for the better, not only because of your medical healing and God’s direction and guidance but with the fact of knowing that there are such wonderful people dedicated to the care and concern of others.
God bless each of you."

COVID-19 patient Nic Brown's message to Cleveland Clinic caregivers after leaving the MICU.

“Part of why I left the note on the window is because I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such selfless people in my life. I really saw the love of God through them. They don’t know me, but they cared for me like I was a member of their family. It’s been life-altering,” says Nic. Nic, a 38-year-old IT executive lives with his wife, Cassie, their son, and two daughters. He has no idea how he contracted COVID-19 in mid-March. 

Nic was rushed to the MICU at Cleveland Clinic, where he was put on life support. “We live in a rural community, in Tuscarawas County. When I got a headache and fever, and then a cough, I thought I had the flu.” But with a medical history that includes bouts with asthma and heart arrhythmia, Nic went to an urgent care near his home. Shortly after being given treatment for suspected pneumonia, he passed out. Nic was rushed a few blocks away to Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital in Dover, Ohio. There, he tested positive for COVID-19. Days later, after being rushed to the MICU at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, Nic was fighting for his life. “You really don’t understand the vulnerability of the human body until you face something like this. There was a time during this process where the hospital reached out to my wife and had to have a discussion about end-of-life-options. My message is for everyone to take more seriously what the impact of this can have on a person.”