I'm the managing editor of Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP) and yesterday we received an email requesting PPE on behalf of Bellevue Hospital, which is in NYC, the U.S. epicenter of COVID-19.
Given that many chemical engineers use PPE, after receiving this email, our head of communications wrote this blog post sharing some easy ways to find donation locations, request a donation, or become a "maker" of PPE.
Many of our members may already be helping within their local communities or may know of other ways to help. I'd like for you to share your stories.
Have you donated PPE in your local area?
Do you have other suggestions for PPE resources (worldwide or U.S.)?
Additionally, on Wednesday the 25th, Deniz Vurmaz, a PhD candidate in the department, received a message from her clinical collaborators from ICU Department at Bellevue Hospital Center that his supply of PPE will run out on Friday. She quickly contacted her cohorts within her dept, including me, as well as Dr. Jin Montclare to blast an email out department wide to see if the professors could spare these supplies from their lab. The most important motivation was here: ''Act fast, Distribute fast!'' There is an obvious and continued need of PPE for healthcare workers fighting this highly contagious and deadly pandemic.
On Thursday, I had just come out of my two week self-quarantine because of potential exposure, and I immediately cycled (to avoid using public transportation) to the lab to donate my group's PPE to The Brooklyn Hospital Center to fulfil a request on the GetUsPPE platform. I also reached out to the NYU Tandon School of Engineering's Makerspace to see if they had anything to deliver because I knew they were 3-D printing medical supplies to be assembled at NYU Langone and added their donations to my group's supplies. On my way home, Deniz was able to reach out to me to go back into the labs to gather supplies that can be spared for Bellevue Hospital ICU healthcare providers. Although most of the PPE was already donated, through calling PIs and graduate students, I was able to gather gloves, goggles, and safety glasses to be donated. These supplies were then cycled over to Deniz to be sanitized with a 1hr soak in DI water followed by a 70% ethanol cleaning before delivery.
The CBE department at NYU was able to donate 5400 gloves, 989 surgical face masks, 14 N95 masks, 20 fabric masks, 47 cleanroom suits, 180 shoe covers, and a box of sanitizing wipes on Saturday the 21st, and then, on Thursday, were able to provide an additional 1600 gloves, 12 safety glasses, 17 goggles, and a face shield from the labs. With that, it is important to thank the CBE department because every single professor donated supplies in this coordinated effort to get PPE to the hospitals, but more specifically Deniz Vurmaz, Dr. Lindsay Hill, Dr. Jin Montclare, Dr. David Pine, Dr. Bruce Garetz, Dr. Andre Taylor, Dr. Miguel Modestino, Dr. Ayaskanta Sahu, and Dr. Ryan Hartman for organizing this additional effort and making a sacrifice of their labs' operational supplies to get the PPE to the healthcare workers fighting this pandemic! It is also important to thank Victoria Bill from the NYU Tandon Makerspace for coming in to 3-D print supplies for NYU Langone as well as adding disposable lab coats, safety glasses, and face masks to our donation to The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Last but definitely not least, Dr. Hill and Dr. Montclare for organizing the large donation of PPE from the department!
Edited by:Lindsay Hill, MD/Ph.D. SUNY Downstate and Alumnus of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYUIngrid Paredes, Ph.D. Candidate Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYUYao Wang, Ph.D. Candidate Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYUDeniz Vurmaz, Ph.D. Candidate Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU