IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics issued an “urgent request” Sunday for donations of protective face shields to keep hospital staff safe from the spread of COVID-19.
The hospital, based in Iowa City, is asking for Iowa businesses and individuals to donate new or used protective face shields so there are enough for all on-site employees to wear one.
“These protective shields are extremely effective, especially for our staff who cannot always maintain a 6-foot social distance when interacting with patients, visitors, and colleagues,” said UIHC Chief Executive Officer Suresh Gunasekaran in a statement. “There is a national shortage, and we need to secure an adequate supply for our needs now and in the future.”
The hospital has enough shields for staff who provide patient care or do screenings at hospital entrances, but additional face shields would allow for all employees who interact with patients, visitors and co-workers to wear one.
The protective face shields should be lightweight and adjustable to fit securely to the user’s head, with a shield area that extends below the chin. Previously used face shields are acceptable; UIHC staff can disinfect used shields.
To donate protective face shields or other personal protective equipment, visit the In-Kind Donations website, at uihc.org/kind-donations.
Individuals, companies, or organizations may also call Concierge Services at 319-356-1900 or 319-678-5500 to drop-off/pick-up.
The In-Kind Donations website is updated frequently with current needs and guidelines for all in-kind donations to UIHC. The hospital is directing people who wish to donate their time to the United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties’ Emergency Volunteer Center, which maintains a match database for volunteer needs and opportunities.
Gunasekaran said that in addition to the donation of protective face shields, the best thing everyone can do to help the hospital is to follow the guidelines for hand hygiene and social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Prevention really is the key,” he said.
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