Resident asking public to support purchasing of masks for Mass hospitals

by beth on May 11, 2020

Post image for Resident asking public to support purchasing of masks for Mass hospitals

Above: You can support an effort that’s already successfully providing hospital workers in the state with needed facemasks (images from gofundme)

A Southborough resident asked me to spread the word on his fundraiser to get more effective facemasks in the hands of hospital workers. 

Jake Alpert was hospitalized for a non-covid related condition recently. He discovered that many hospital workers only had access to cloth masks:

Recently, I was admitted to the Newton-Wellesley hospital where I spent three days being treated for meningitis. During my time there, I was surprised and made aware of how many of the doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers only had cloth face coverings and not surgical masks. After asking a nurse why that was the case, she told me that they simply did not have enough surgical masks for everyone.

Through a family connection, Alpert had access to purchase better masks:

With my dad in the roofing business, I have access to buy KN95 masks, a type of surgical mask, in bulk at a cheaper price. I am trying to raise enough money to buy 5000 KN95 masks to donate to hospitals across Massachusetts that are also under-stock in surgical masks. Any & Every donation counts.

I know, these aren’t the highly sought N95 masks. But Alpert explains, that the KN95 masks are more effective than cloth masks, and endorsed by the CDC for certain uses.*

As of last Friday, he had already successfully acquired masks for multiple hospitals:

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. With your donations, we were able to purchase 1,750 KN95 masks and donate them to the Cambridge Health Alliance. The Cambridge Health Alliance will use them at the following hospitals: Somerville Hospital, Cambridge Hospital, and Everett Hospital. It’s a great start but we still have a ways to go to reach 5k masks so please continue to spread the word!! 

Earlier today, he told me he was very close to his threshold for purchasing the next 1,000 masks.

To donate towards the initiative, click here.

*The masks are also made to filter small particles. You can read more about the CDC guidance on KN95 masks in the light of N95 mask shortages here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 trick or treat? May 11, 2020 at 4:01 PM

Where have the 219,340 N95s/KN95s masks and the 198,400 masks, that were distributed specifically to hospitals, all gone?

Approximately 400,000 masks for hospitals – and they’re all gone?

Our tax dollars are paying for these. The hospitals should be pushing back on the state to address their allocation issues. Going directly to the public – who do not have access to these masks – only enables and furthers the allocation/distribution issues present.

Solve the problem – don’t mask it!

Reply

2 southsider May 11, 2020 at 6:37 PM

Let’s do the math. There are about 80,000 diagnosed cases in MA as of today. A diagnosed patient is probably seen by two or three medical staffers as they’re being diagnosed. That would consume a quarter million masks just on diagnosis day. Some probably larger number are also seen by medical staffers but sent home ultimately only diagnosed with a cold or some other malady..Maybe another quarter million masks ( minimum )? Those who get hospitalized are taken care of by several ( at least ) medical staffers every single day they’re in the hospital. The MA death toll is 5,000. Probably safe to assume almost all spent some time hospitalized..let’s say 7-10 days? Probably very safe to assume another 10,000 or so spent some few days in the hospital before being cleared and released. So 15,000 hospitalized patients in hospital for say 5 days on average and attended to by 7 staffers over the course of each day… That’s another half million masks… ..so that’s a million without even mentioning all the masks used in long term care facilities and nursing homes and first responder stations across the state ..and all the other doctor office and hospital staffers who provide indirect support for all those patients… probably a much higher number than those delivering direct care…another million? two? These masks get very limited use… once a nurse or doctor has interacted with a patient with the virus, I think best protocol is to discard the mask..I certainly wouldn’t want to be the next patient handled by the staffer if they had a mask on that maybe was carrying the virus. These medical teams and first responders need help obtaining the enormous amount of supplies needed to protect us. We’re so ucky that we don’t need to know firsthand the extent of this horrific situation. but the numbers are truly enormous..

Reply

3 Mom May 11, 2020 at 9:34 PM

That is a really mean comment. Someone is trying to do something good. If you don’t care for the cause, well then just don’t say anything.
It seems though that you haven’t heard about the PPE shortage. Maybe you are unaware that governors have had to scramble and search and even bid against each other for supplies. Didn’t you hear about orders being placed and never received? It’s been a hugely beautiful perfect big deal.

Reply

4 Eileen May 12, 2020 at 12:41 PM

Thank you, Jake.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: