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Toronto hospitals organize to send medical supplies to Ukraine

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A pandemic hiatus in the collection of surplus medical supplies at the University Health Network has turned out to be a blessing for people in Ukraine, who are in desperate need of medical items.

“Because we regularly do a monthly collection and we haven’t been able to do it for just the past couple of months because Omicron made it too dangerous for the volunteers who usually come in here and collect the supplies, we had a lot of people who were already collecting a lot of supplies in their departments end,” says Lisa Vanlint, coordinator of the hospital network’s Operation Green.

Operation Green makes sure extra hospital supplies don’t go to waste by sending them to places in need like earthquake zones, other natural disasters — and right now, Ukraine.

In fact, because there had been a buildup of available items like catherization kits, splints and bandages, UHN was already able to send 46 boxes of supplies to Ukraine last week.

UHN, which includes Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret, has been partnering over the years with Not Just Tourists, a charitable organization. For this initiative, they’ve also joined forces with the Canada Ukraine Foundation.

“We are all trying to do all we can” says Juliet Lev, medical a dvisor at Not Just Tourists. “It’s not enough but if everybody can give what they can, hopefully it will help a little bit.”

Not Just Tourists has been collecting and sorting the items at Roncesvalles United Church and will ship the second batch of boxes overseas soon.

Operation Green has a list of required items, tailored to the needs of the war zone environment rather than general healthcare, and they point out that medications are not able to be included.

Below is a list of medical items requested:

  • Gel based occlusive thoracic bandage, e.g. Hydroseal, (w or w/o valve)
  • SAM splints
  • Sterile Wipes
  • Bandages (Israeli type)
  • Chemical haemostatic agents, (e.g. Fibrillar, Gelfoam, Quickclot, Xstat)
  • Tape, occlusive and woven
  • Elastic bandages, (Tensors)
  • Burn dressings, Hydrogel, various sizes
  • Non sterile bandages and gauze dressings, various sizes
  • Sterile bandages and gauze dressings, various sizes
  • Soft gauze
  • Individual sterile dressing packages with elastic first aid compression component with protective moisture resistant shell.
  • Defibrillator and pads
  • Catheterization set
  • Catheters and bags
  • Stretcher
  • SWAT tourniquets
  • IV blood transfusion sets
  • Crystalloids
  • First Aid Kits
  • IFAK: Individual First Aid Kits
  • Gastric lavage kits
  • Tactical responder bags
  • Waterproof markers
  • PPE- gloves, masks, eye protection
  • Laryngeal masks with combitubes (4,5,6)
  • Nasopharyngeal airways
  • Tracheostomy tubes
  • Trauma scissors 

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