By Savannah Koplon
The desire from those in the Greater Birmingham community who want to help provide personal protective equipment — known as PPE — to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital and throughout the Birmingham area has been overwhelming.
Because there are specific needs — and PPE has to meet certain standards — there has been a lot of speculation about what can and cannot be donated to the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) working in conjunction with the Jefferson County Healthcare Coalition versus what UAB will accept. In order to efficiently support health care workers, each organization has its own PPE donation criteria.
A complete list of items being accepted by JCDH and the Healthcare Coalition, including donation hours and where to deliver items, can be found on the JCDH website here.
UAB Medicine has created this form to be filled out by those who wish to donate commercially manufactured, new and unopened PPE items, so materials can be properly sorted and received.
The following items are currently being accepted at UAB:
- Isolation gowns
- Disinfectant wipes (PDI, Clorox, etc.)
- Hand sanitizer
- Face protection (shields and/or goggles)
- Fluid-impervious gowns or aprons
- Procedural/surgical masks
- N95 masks
- Nitrile gloves
At this time, UAB has not and does not intend to accept homemade masks and items. Verifying that those products are sterile and/or meet specific hygiene/usage standards is extremely difficult. Commercial businesses must follow specific production protocols that make those items appropriately rated for use in health care settings.
If a PPE donation is approved by UAB’s Supply Chain team, it can then be delivered to the UAB collection site, 801 Fifth Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35233. It is open from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. There is a receiving tent waiting for drop-offs.
Submit prototypes, too
Community members or commercial vendors who create a protype of a particular PPE item like a face shield are asked to create one item for review. These also can be submitted through the UAB Medicine form.
Those looking to donate homemade masks and other items can deliver them to the Christian Service Mission Warehouse, 3600 Third Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35222, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-noon. If you have questions regarding these donations, please call the Healthcare Coalition Coordination Center at 205-254-2550 from Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.