Helpful items small businesses can donate to hospitals in need

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By Tarah Mills

Many small business owner may have items they can donate to hospitals to support their efforts to stemp the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals are in short supply of many items that are needed to protect the health of physicians, nurses and other direct-care providers. Here are some helpful items that you could donate to hospitals in need.

Respirator masks

Hospitals across the United States are in dire need of N95 repirator masks, explains the Wall Street Journal. This type of mask is specifically made for the healthcare environment, but it is also used in other types of workplaces, such as places where woodworking or sanding of painted surfaces is done, so small businesses may have some on hand that they could donate. The N95 mask has a filter that is able to capture 95 percent of airborne vapors, including viruses. Surgical masks are also in low supply across all healthcare centers and hospitals. This includes both elasticized and tied surgical masks. Battelle, an Ohio-based company, has a technology that allows masks to be sterilized and reused up to 20 times. Even so, there is still a profound shortage of N95 masks.

Latex and neoprene gloves

Doctors and nurses would typically change their gloves after every patient interaction or handling of a specimen. A severe shortage in latex and neoprene gloves has caused many hospitals to issue just one pair of gloves to nurses and doctors. The healthcare providers have to wear them either until they break or until the end of their shift, which could be 12 hours or longer. If you have any medical gloves to donate, your local hospital would appreciate them.

Surgical gowns and shoe coverings

Along with surgical gowns and disposable shoe coverings, you could also donate new scrubs. Scrub tops and bottoms are needed in all sizes by physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other direct-care providers who work in hospitals or drive-through COVID-19 testing sites.

Disinfecting supplies

If you manage a commercial business, nonprofit organization, school, church or similar institution, you may have some extra disinfecting supplies that you could donate to hospitals. Many states have shuttered schools and shifted to remote learning for the rest of the school year and summer. Religious institutions, community and recreation centers and other places where large gatherings are held may also remain shut for a while. If you do not have an immediate need for commercial-grade disinfecting supplies, you could donate them. Bleach, disinfecting wipes, paper towels and ethanol are all in need.

Hand sanitizer and soap

Hand sanitizer has been in short supply all over the United States for more than one month. Even hospitals have had a difficult time sourcing hand sanitizer. Hand soap has been difficult for consumers and hospitals to find. This includes regular and surgical-grade hand soap. Some distilleries have even switched their equipment to make hand sanitizer instead of alcoholic beverages. If you have any size or any amount of hand sanitizer or soap, hospitals would welcome this type of donation.

Homemade masks

Not all hospitals are allowing healthcare providers to wear homemade masks while they are caring for patients. However, healthcare workers may still benefit from having access to homemade face masks. They may want to use these on their break time, when walking in the hallways of hospitals or when they do their own errands, such as grocery shopping. Healthcare workers may also benefit from homemade masks to wear at home to lessen their risk of spreading COVID-19 to their family or household members.

Face shields

Carpenters, metalworkers and welders may have face shields that they could donate. Also, if your business has a 3D printer, there are free patterns available for you to print face shields for donations to hospitals in your community.

While many people noticed the store shelves empty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer for a few weeks early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of essential supplies at hospitals puts lives at risk. If you have any of these supplies in your home or business, it is wise to donate them. Your contribution to help protect the health of healthcare workers will go a long way in taking control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tarah Mills has always had a passion for writing. Her philosophy is that not only can writing be educational, but it can change the world. While she is dedicated to her work, she still enjoys a good game of basketball, curling up to a good book, and all things Star Wars. She currently resides in the Richmond, Virginia, area with her family.

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