Medical Supplies for Venezuela
Venezuela is currently facing an extremely intense crisis as the result of the collapse of our economic system. In a country that used to flourish, Venezuelans are now standing in lines for hours to even have a chance of getting basic goods like soap, diapers, and bread. The shortages are most frightening in the pharmacies and hospitals—where easily treatable conditions are killing many Venezuelans because physicians just don’t have enough medicine. With the epidemic of the Zika Virus now spread all throughout the country, Venezuelans are dying from febrile complications simply because they do not have Tylenol or IV solution bags to treat dehydration. The Emergency doctors are making homemade water traps with water bottles when needing to insert chest tubes to drain fluid from body cavities. Hospitals, ambulatory clinics and pharmacies cross the country are lacking antibiotics, and many patients are dying from treatable conditions like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, etc.
According to the National Pharmacy College, 75% of medications are currently unavailable to Venezuelans including blood pressure and other heart protective medications, pain killers, contraceptives, syringes, insulin for diabetes treatment, amongst other over the counter medications.
Because the Venezuelan government is unable to take the necessary steps to help its own people, we are going to do our best to provide aid from abroad.
The economic help is of urgent matter. I will use the money raised to purchase over the counter medications for fever, dehydration, diarrhea, bronchitis, etc. I will purchase sterile materials for wound care and if possible, antibiotics. These materials will be shipped to public ambulatory clinics and hospitals located in remote areas throughout Venzuela, to treat the poorest population that are at the highest risk of infections.
The collected donations will also be used to purchase supplies for my mother's nephrology patients with end stage renal disease that are in need of kidney replacement therapy with dialysis. With the help of this funding, I will be able to resupply their Hemodialysis units with the filters and items needed for adequate therapy.
Realistically, this will not fix the root problem, but it will temporarily help ease the crisis that Venezuelans are unnecessarily and unjustifiably going through. I am obligated as a Venezuelan to help the country where I took an oath to heal and protect the sick. I am hoping to reach as many helpers out there.
Venezuela will always be in eternal gratitude for the assistance you provide. Thank you!
***Donations of unused, unoped medical supplies are also welcome (even if they are expired). Please contact us if you or someone you know has extra supplies they are willing to donate.
Wishing all of you a blessed holiday!
*Hospitals are not allowing media or pictures to be deliberately taken, so words will have to do justice*
- Pregnant woman that will deliver their babies are required to bring their own Pitocin (Oxytocin), sheets for their beds, vitamins and vaccines for their newborns. If they will have a C-section, they will need to bring surgical patches and other materials in order to be attended. This has made mothers-to-be raise money and go from pharmacy to pharmacy to collect their "delivery bag", to be accepted in a hospital to have their babies. This will not guarantee the well being of the baby if they need neonatal care in an intensive care unit. In these cases, they would have to pay out-of-pocket to be seen in a private setting, as persons that seek hospital care usually do not have health insurance and are financially constrained.
- IntraVenous Fluids (IVF) which are used to prepare chemotherapy medications are lacking and cancer patients are not able to start/ complete their treatment course. There is an unfortunate story of an 8 year old boy named Oliver Sánchez who protested in the street with a cartel that said: "I want to be cured", died on May 25th in an intensive care unit after being rejected in several hospitals due to lack of the necessary medical materials like IVF to treat him. Dehydration has become a new assassin due to the lack of this important and vital fluid.
- Surgeries are not being performed because the Operation Rooms (OR) do not have sutures, sterile drapes or materials, airway protections tubes and masks necessary to ensure breathing during general anesthesia. For penetrating abdominal wounds, there are no ways to ensure proper control of bleeding or reconstitution of intestinal wounds due to lack of these materials.
- There are no blood products available for acute blood loss conditions such as gastrointestinal bleeds, motor vehicle accidents, gun-shot wounds (very common), etc.
- The "Crash Carts" which are a set of trays/drawers/shelves on wheels used in hospitals for transportation of emergency medication/equipment for life support protocols to save someone's life, are empty!, and if a "Code Blue" is identified, the survival rate is "0".
- There should be one face ventilation mask for each patient that has a cardiopulmonary arrest, and doctors are having to reuse the only "1" they have available for each medical service. These are devices that loose effectiveness in pressure and air sealing after multiple use.
- Oxygen connectors are being repaired with adhesive tapes because they cannot be replaced.
- The OR have become storage deposit for defective and outdated equipment.
- Hospitals have become inadequate for high level of care but patients continue to go because of their desperate need of help. Some doctors actually bring medications from other centers, sometimes private centers or from black market commerce to be able to attend their dying patients.
I am very grateful for all the support and for all the people that from pure altruism, are trying to help this cause.
I will be responding to some emails I have been getting about specific medical supplies that they are in need of in Venezuela. I have plenty of materials but most of them are general medical supplies that I have received from the Hospital I work in. I will be posting a list of these materials I will be sending to Venezuela, so you are all aware of what is being shipped.
Fortunately, these materials are very abundant in hospital settings here in the US, and are feasible to continue to obtain. The shipping to Venezuela is costly and will continue to be the most limiting factor.
My father Leonardo Maitas, who is an Interventional Cardiologist and myself have for years been supplying the Cardiac center where he works at with medical supplies for cardiac specific procedures. These are sometimes expired materials like endo-vascular stents and balloons that they re-sterilize and use with patients that cannot afford to pay for these procedures.
Since the beginning of this campaign I am handling much more diverse materials. For example, in Venezuela, hospitals do not have adhesive tapes for securing IV lines and I have boxes that are full of them, along with new IV access kits, tubing and IV solution bags.
My father is the person who will be receiving the monetary donations because he will be paying the shipping company that will transport these materials from Miami to Venezuela.
I am responsible for transporting them from Medford, Oregon to Miami, Florida and this is part of my contribution to this cause.
I wanted to share this link from the NY Times that reflects the severity of the hospital crisis in Venezuela.
I will continue to post and keep you guys updated about the progress of this campaign and will show you how you have made a difference in our current medical and humanitarian crisis.
Also, tonight I will be traveling to Venezuela and will be visiting hospitals and will update this campaign with pictures of the lack of medical supplies.
Thank you all for your donations. Please continue to share this link.
Hi Oscar! I am a NICU nurse in Boston and it is insane how much equipment we throw away. Every time a baby is discharged from the hospital we must throw away every piece of equipment at the bedside, including trays of gauze, lancets, band-aids, diapers. The list goes on and on. I would also have access to respiratory equipment like ambu bags & suction catheters and possibly baby formula. I already have 2 bags worth of equipment. Where are you located? This could be an ongoing source of supplies. Please let me know if you might have a connection in Boston.
Hello Oscar, I admire your dedication to alleviate this crisis. I have been looking for a means to donate to the crisis, but I read recently that the Maduro administration has blocked off channels of humanitarian aid to the country. How are you able to get around this and get your supplies to the people who need it?
How do I reach someone to make donations of medical supplies?
Hello all and to Manali Sapre . Last year I was able to get a substantial amount of vegetable seeds to Venezuela. I made contact with 5 different groups/organizations and sent it directly to them through Vikom Export in Miami . They sent back pictures so I know the items arrived. I didn't know one person in the country and I don't speak the language. Google translator became my good friend. What Oscar is doing is fantastic and requires much help . I saw addressing the medical supply issue is way more than one person can handle. I even tried contacting a few organizations about it. So I hope everyone is able to help him, no matter how small
Hello Oscar! I am writing to congratulate you on this noble work you do. It means a lot that those who are outside want to help. I also write because I need your support right now. My mom is schizophrenic and requires constant treatment with Zyprexa. This has not been achieved for more than a year. The psychiatrist has prescribed quetiapine, but it is not the same. She's very out of control. So I came here to see if you could help me get that medicine. It is in controlled use, but I do not know, maybe you have a friend that takes it there? I'm desperate. Well, a hug. Be fine!
A few years back I used to admire Venezuela as a country, through their soap operas and music. I always wanted to visit this country, Cuba and Peru but politics has destroyed it, drugs have destroyed it. Your "leaders" have been your curse. I hope you people recover from this. I can't sent any donation right now, I can only wish you all the best in your quest to "do something" for your people. Love from Kenya, Africa.
I thought I should share this here since a lot want to help. This is a friend of mine. She's Venezualian, she lives there. She goes through a lot of hardships every single day. She's trying to save money so she can leave Venezuela. Obviously what is happening over there, she can't hardly save money because she needs food. So that's when she asked a friend to help her put up a charity page up. The link is https://www.youcaring.com/agataquerales-761222 You can read al the reasons she's doing that on the link. Please help her out. Thank you and God bless you all.
I never forget you Venezuela! Mi casa! Help my people!!!!
Give me a call Osacr> Dane>619 445 5905
Oscar, is it possible to help you by buying some of the things you need myself and sending them to you? Sorry, its just I distrust giving my bank data online. Also, how do you ship stuff? I live in the U.S. now, but I am from Chile and I am very aware of what Venezuela is going through. So, I would like to send diapers and milk for babies. I could send more at cost (no margin for me), but I do not think it would pass border patroll in Venezuela. PM me.
Are you still collecting donations for medicines? I am a psychiatrist and in lieu of recent NY Times article, am looking for a way to help get needed medications to Venezuela; especially antipsychotics
If we have some vitamins, analgesics etc to send, how do we get them to you - or is there an address in Venezuela?
Hola, soy Docente, con maestría, me he desarrollado en el área de la Física Médica, casi me fui a Rusia por un doctorado en plantas y centrales nucleares. Por motivos económicos simplifique mi vida y soy docente de bachillerato. Mi esposo trabaja para el ministerio de educacion, y por tercer año consecutivo no recibe ingresos por eso. Mi madre esta incapacitada, y tengo un bebe de casi año y medio. De verdad es terrible, si puedes donarme ropa, principalmente zapatos para mi hijo, con la mayor verguenza los aceptaría. Acá no se puede ni protestar, porque somos empleadospúblicos y podemos perder el único ingreso, el mío.
Te felicito por tan importante iniciativa hermano. Un gran abrazo!