First responders have been at the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide an essential service to our community by transporting thousands of sick and injured people to University Medical Center New Orleans each year. In response to their tremendous efforts, the Spirit of Charity Foundation and key industry partners have donated over 1,400 masks valued at over $35,000 for first responders in the New Orleans area.
The masks are made of material originally developed for antimicrobial dressings for burns and other serious wounds. The material’s fibers are plated with silver, a substance long-known to have antibacterial properties. While the effectiveness of the masks on the COVID-19 virus is not known, they have been authorized as a source control face mask to help prevent the spread of infections during the pandemic.
The masks were distributed to nearly two dozen organizations in the metro area, including EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies.
“First responders put themselves at risk every day to protect, rescue, and care for us. It is our privilege through the Spirit of Charity Foundation and key industry partners to provide our first responders with silver masks to help protect them,” said Jeffrey Carter, MD, Medical Director of the Burn Center at University Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
The masks were presented to agency representatives on Wednesday, November 18 at 11:45 am in the Galvez Street courtyard at University Medical Center.
“Providing these masks is just a great way to let our first responders know that we are here for them,” said Dr. Herb Phelan, a surgeon at University Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. “In conjunction with the mask donation, we are having our first Seasonal Injury Symposium where we plan to cover common injuries associated with the holidays. Bridging education with world class patient care from the scene of the injury to the medical center is really what we are all about.”
At the symposium, surgeons and emergency medicine physicians addressed seasonal injuries, prevention methods, and the latest treatments.
Continued support can be directed to the Burn Center Fund at Spirit of Charity Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to support and facilitate patient-centered care, actively promote health and wellness and to advance medical research and education through fundraising efforts for the benefit of the University Medical Center New Orleans, its patients and friends.
About University Medical Center New Orleans
University Medical Center New Orleans, home of the Rev. Avery C. Alexander Academic Research Hospital, offers the latest in medical services and cutting-edge research, while training the next generation of healthcare professionals. As the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Burn Center, we play a vital role in treating southern Louisiana’s most critically injured patients. University Medical Center is a proud member of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit hospital system which also includes Children’s Hospital, New Orleans East Hospital, Touro, and West Jefferson Medical Center.