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April 16, 2020 HEALTH CARE

Yale Med School receives N95 masks from Chinese NGOs

PHOTO | Courtesy Yale School of Medicine/Anthony DeCarlo Boxes of N95 masks delivered to the Yale School of Medicine Tuesday.

A coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China and the U.S. has donated more than 23,000 N95 masks to the Yale School of Medicine to support patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Haven-based Yale-China Association assisted in the logistics of sending the masks to New Haven, which were received Tuesday by Paul Taheri, MD, CEO of Yale Medicine and deputy dean of clinical affairs for the Yale School of Medicine.

The coalition, known as the COVID-19 Life Preservation Fund by NGOs, was established by Daofeng He, a Chinese philanthropist. It aims to help protect frontline medical workers in the New York City, Washington, D.C., and surrounding regions through donations of vital personal protective equipment (PPE).

“There has been an extraordinary outpouring of generosity from friends and institutions in China,” said David Youtz, president of the Yale-China Association, in announcing the gift. “This includes the group of NGOs making this donation today, as well as physicians and nurses from Xiangya Hospital and Medical School — the institutions founded by Yale graduates more than 100 years ago in Hunan.

“The success of these efforts is due to the strong century-old ties (especially medical and nursing relationships) between Yale and Hunan Province, and to the 2018 establishment of Sister City ties between New Haven and Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province,” Youtz added.

The goodwill shipments are the product of multiple steps and hurdles, Youtz added. These include fundraising for and then purchasing the items in China; ensuring that the PPEs are CDC- and FDA-approved and are of the high medical grade that a hospital can use; shepherding the shipments through the customs requirements of both China and the U.S.; and finally shipping them to Yale.

“Many of the goodwill efforts have gotten bogged down in these complexities — even while the needs here in Connecticut skyrocket,” added Youtz.

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Gateway lends equipment to Bridgeport Hospital for potential COVID-19 overflow

The site of a field hospital being assembled at Bridgeport Hospital to handle a potential overflow of coronavirus patients. PHOTO | Courtesy Gateway Community College

Nineteen hospital beds and other equipment from the Gateway Community College nursing and allied health labs have been lent to Bridgeport Hospital to help establish a 5,280-square-foot auxiliary field hospital in a parking lot on the hospital campus.

The field hospital contains 32 isolated bedrooms or bays, ventilators and “all the equipment and capabilities” associated with rooms in the main hospital, said John Cappiello, Bridgeport Hospital’s media relations coordinator.

Sacred Heart University and the University of Bridgeport also contributed beds and equipment to the effort, he said.

The field unit, which is composed of tarpaulin-like plastic sheets attached to a steel framework, is located directly in front of the hospital in an outpatient parking lot on Grant Street Plaza.

The temporary field hospital will be used if and when a surge of COVID-19 patients exceeds the capacity of the main hospital, Cappiello said. It has already been inspected and approved by the state’s Department of Public Health.

In all, Gateway contributed 19 hospital beds and mattresses with attached IV poles, a stretcher with an IV pole, 19 three-drawer side table on wheels, 19 over-bed tables on wheels, a wheelchair, a linen cart and other equipment to the field hospital.

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