UCI laboratories, community members and students continue to donate personal protective equipment for UCI Medical Center through a series of drives begun March 30 by first-year medical students Catriona Lewis and David Horton and third-year medical student Sean Williams.
As of April 25, donations tallied 2,908 N95 masks, 24,021 surgical masks, 1,770 handmade cloth masks, 935 boxes of gloves (each typically containing 100), 17 boxes of disinfectant wipes, 219 face shields, 669 pairs of goggles, 300 disposable gowns and 461 bottles of hand sanitizer.
“There has been such a positive response,” Lewis says. “We are so grateful.”
Students drop off donations at a supply warehouse in Orange, where they’re sanitized and quarantined before being sent to the medical center. Drive organizers are in frequent contact with healthcare workers about their needs.
Lewis and her partners will continue promoting the events through social media and a website, where they detail what and where to donate. The success of the drives has prompted them to consider expanding their efforts to other hospitals in the area.
“We got into this profession to help people, and being sidelined for public health reasons has made us feel like we need to do something more,” Lewis says. “Hopefully, after this is over, there will be a surplus of PPE.”