Dr. Anthony Martinez is an Internal Medicine Physician at Erie County Medical Center. During a 15 minute phone call this morning, Dr. Matinez asked me to put out a call to action for local construction, manufacturing and HVAC companies to look through their inventory and donate any N95 masks they may have. Like many around the nation, our medical community needs these N95 masks and other protective gear for their staff on the front lines.
N95 masks, which protect wearers from airborne particles, are in short supply worldwide because of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to healthcare workers, the masks are often used by construction workers on sites where there is a lot of concrete dust.
“There is a finite supply of these kind of materials,” Dr. Martinez explained, “We know what has happened in the metropolitan New York area and we expect to see that kind of trend here.”
So they are being proactive and reaching out to the community for help and it’s working. Conax Technologies, a local manufacturing company, reached out and donated 100 masks.
They need more.
Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence asked construction companies to donate their stocks of N95 masks to hospitals and stop ordering more because of the shortage.
“There are limited supplies and will only last for a short term, so these materials become very important. This is national, global. We know in this community there is a lot of manufacturing, HVAC and construction companies with these supplies that they don’t need right now.” Dr. Martinez is hopeful companies will step up and help get these materials to those who are working to help others. “If we get exposed, you’re down for two weeks and if enough people go down for two weeks, that can be a huge problem.”
There is also a need for Nasopharygeal Swabs for testing. Dr. Martinez said dentists and veterinarians may have these and if they do they should contact the Erie County Health Department. “People may be thinking, ‘oh gosh, I have these in my office or in my practice.'”
Dr. Martinez tells me hospital personnel is doing what they are trained to do but they need resources and help from the community. “This is a community lift. Everyone will have to do something to help. Some are cooking food, some looking after children, some will help by donating these supplies, we all need to do this together.”
The physician says social distancing is working and we have to stick with it for as long as it takes. Dr. Martinez came to Buffalo 8 years ago from San Diego and says there’s no place else he’d rather be right now. “I’ve been around. I’ve lived in a lot of places and there is no other community I would rather be in to go through something like this. This is home and I am incredibly happy to be here right now.”
We are incredibly happy to have Dr. Martinez and all of the medical personnel helping our community.
If you have a supply of masks, gowns, eye-wear, face-shields, thermometers and hand sanitizers please reach out to Dr. Anthony Martinez directly at 1-401-935-2067. You can leave a voice message or text message.
Thank you! God Bless those on the front lines.
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