‘We are worried,’ medical professionals and hospitals seeking help with supplies

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — More hospitals are asking for help. Those who work in health care say they need more personal protective gear.

Hundreds of local doctors sent a letter to state officials asking for help securing personal protective equipment.

Dr. Kai Matthes, a pediatric anesthesiologist said doctors are keeping an eye on how much protective gear they have.

“Yeah we are worried, after all you see some shortages in other states arising,” said Dr. Kai Matthes, a pediatric anesthesiologist on Maui.

“The problem is if you use one for each patient that you see, you’re going to run out quickly and if everybody does that you use up the resources fast,” said Matthes.

At the Queen’s Health System, doctors have resorted to re-using their masks.

“Providers are able to reuse their N-95 masks between patients as long as the masks are not damaged. They are not soiled – they don’t have condensation,” said Dr. Julius Pham, Interim Chief Quality Officer for the Queen’s Health System.

But he said the current supply won’t be enough if Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

“Right now our usage let’s say for example it’s 10 masks a day but we get to the surge of patients that may come to us that might very quickly double to 20 it might quickly double to 30,” said Pham.

Queen’s says starting today, they’ll be accepting goggles, face shields, masks and gowns. They’re not accepting homemade masks. You can call your nearest Queen’s Health System hospital to find out how you can donate.

The construction industry is also lending a hand, by setting up a donation drive.

“There are certain safety requirements that people have to follow on job sites which include job protection and depending on the type of work that they’re doing sometimes the mask,” said Nani Medeiros, Homemade Hawaii executive director.

“The construction companies that use those types of materials would have a good amount of supply,” said Medeiros.

For any construction companies or workers willing to help, that drive will be on Friday at the state capitol from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. by the St. Damien statue.

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