Central Florida doctor calls on community to help with personal protective equipment shortage

A Central Florida doctor is calling on the community to help keep healthcare workers safe.

Hospitals across the country in need of protective equipment.

“Currently the situation is that we are running low on supplies of the personal protective equipment that we need within Central Florida over here,” said Dr. Sumeet Bhavsar, an HCA Envision Physician in Central Florida. “I think it’s going to get pretty serious very soon.”

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization warned that the shortage of protective equipment would put health care workers in danger.

The organization blamed rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse for the global problem.

“We’re seeing these really sick patients and we;re trying to our best to protect ourselves with the right equipment,” Bhavsar said.

He suggests people check their homes for things like N95 respirator masks, surgical gloves and protective eye shields, then consider donating them to a local hospital.

We also asked him about the people trying to help by making masks.

“It’s not as efficient as actually getting a mask from one of these manufacturing,” Bhavsar said. “I think if it comes to a last resort, this is likely a possibility you may have to.”

It’s a time sensitive matter, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in Florida.  

“I wanted to ring the alarm on this because I think this is a very important issue that’s affecting all the healthcare systems across the nation right now. I believe Florida should start getting prepared for what’s possibly coming in the next one or two weeks,” Bhavsar said.

There have been community and social media efforts underway to collect protective gear for healthcare workers and first responders.