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The latest updates on our mission and stories about the struggle to get personal protective equipment (PPE)

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Stories From the Frontlines

Residents, nurses, attendings, and surgeons across the nation are being infected with COVID-19 because they are dangerously treating patients without PPE. Does it make sense for a firefighter to run into a burning house without the proper equipment? No, so why is it okay then for nurses and doctors to immediately see acutely ill patients without the proper gear? Hospitals nationwide are out of PPE and reusing masks by cleaning them with disinfectant wipes. For nurses who absolutely love their profession, the prospect of being put in harm's way without the proper protections is hurting them. Residents are running Code Blues without PPE. Family members of providers are in the ICU fighting the virus. State governors are in bidding wars with one another for PPE. If we are the greatest country in the world, we must protect our front line healthcare professionals! MD/JD/LLM student

TonMD/JD/LLM student

I am a nurse. I speak only for myself. However, nurses are scared, not for ourselves but for our patients. We are scared not having the right PPE or any PPE will cause us to carry this virus to our patients. We have no problem walking in to work everyday no matter how sick prople are. But for us to be scared this is real. I took an oath to do no harm and without the proper mask and shields I can not say with certainty that I am not harming other patients. Donate masks and other PPE if you can. Please stay home if you can. Help us help others. #strongnurses

KerryRN

As I head to work tonight, there is an uneasy quiet about my drive. There are few cars on the road, which I am grateful for although I would prefer fewer. This much company suggests inadequate social distancing. Last night I saw 15 patients, which just below average for an 8 hour shift. Of these, five people presented with typical symptoms of coronavirus including fever, dry cough, and headache. Two others had head headache and sore throat, and in the best case scenario I would’ve tested all seven. But I only tested one - the only that I admitted. The rest I sent out into the world untested and without the knowledge and reassurance that they would know one way or another. We are all uneasy about this. My colleagues and I discuss the best way to protect ourselves. The CDC and hospital administration continue to reassure us that simple procedural masks are sufficient in most circumstances even for suspected Covid cases. This is to preserve the supply of respirators for when we really need them when the surge comes and we are intubating multiple people per shift. Wuhan, Italy, and New York have taught us it’s coming. And we’re afraid - we don’t want to get sick, and more importantly we don’t want to get our families sick or let down our colleagues by being quarantined. Last night I overheard a nurse expressing the same concern that I have expressed to my partners that a patient who is coughing also generates aerosolized particles. Why is this not also considered high risk by the WHO and CDC?

AnonymousMD

We are all doing our best, and we continue to come to work because people rely and us and this is why we became emergency medical providers. It’s not just patients that come to us seeking help and reassurance, but also our colleagues: nurses, respiratory therapists, medical technicians, secretaries, radiology techs, in our physician partners. I choose emergency medicine because it’s egalitarian. We see anyone who walks through the door whether they’re in cardiac arrest or have a rash on their foot. We will treat you if you have coronavirus just like we would treat you if you had influenza - plus now a mask, goggles and gown. We train to respond emergencies and this is one very long drawn out emergency. We are here and we won’t back down; we just ask that you continue to demand that our government back us up. I go to work tonight knowing that my hospital has respirators for me should I need to place a breathing tube. Not all of my colleagues are so lucky but they will go to work tonight anyway. Don’t back down keep up the pressure - my friends and I need more masks. The surge is coming.

AnonymousMD

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