Samaritan's Purse donates 10,000 masks to UNC Health

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Doctors and hospitals are scrambling to find several key items to help them fight the COVID-19 outbreak. With masks, gloves and hand sanitize running low, UNC Health is calling on the community to lend a hand.

One North Carolina-based charity answered the call, making the largest donation yet.

"We've never seen a need like this before," said Christian Lawson, Director of Emergency Services at UNC Health.

Samaritan's Purse donated more than 50,000 masks to hospitals across the state.

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Wednesday, UNC picked up 10,000.

"We had a hit to our personal protective equipment supply chain even a few months ago because the flu was more intense than it has been in the past five years. Coupled with so much of this is manufactured in China where the COVID virus first flared up. So they shut down production and that has had a ripple effect," Lawson explained.

For perspective: One clinician caring for a single stable patient will go through at least 12 to 15 masks every 12 hour shift; equating to nearly 30 masks a day.

If you multiply that by the hundreds of medical personnel at each of UNC's facilities, you can only imagine the need.

"We are burning through personal protective equipment at a rate that we've never seen before," Lawson said.

Samaritan's Purse said it is pleased to be able to serve the community in such a desperate time.

"Samaritan's Purse is thankful to be able to donate 10,000 masks to the UNC Health system to support their medical team as they fight COVID-19. These are some of the 55,000 total masks we are currently supplying to North Carolina health facilities. Please continue to pray for those who are suffering from the disease and for the medical personnel working on the front lines to fight the global pandemic."

UNC and WakeMed are still looking for supplies.

See the list below for details:

LIST: UNC Health, Duke Health, WakeMed seek donations of masks, sanitizer as COVID-19 cases rise in North Carolina
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