Medical TV Dramas Donate Supplies To Hospitals

Neil Mehta, Features Editor

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, medical institutions nationwide are facing shortages of essential medical supplies. In response, hospitals are turning to unlikely donors—medical TV shows—for gloves, masks, and other critical equipment.

Medical dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 have announced donations of personal protective equipment (PPE). Grey’s Anatomy donated a stockpile of gowns and gloves, and Station 19 offered 300 N-95 masks, which have faced especially extreme shortages among medical professionals.

Other shows including The Good Doctor, The Resident, and New Amsterdam also announced donations of masks, gloves, and gowns. Many of these dramas have suspended production as an additional precaution during the outbreak.

In response to COVID’s spread, consumers have stockpiled N-95 masks (fitted masks that filter at least 95% of particles in the air). N-95 masks are needed by medical professionals and not recommended for civilian use. 

However, largely due to consumer stockpiling, hospitals throughout the country are facing shortages of masks and other PPE, requiring factories to increase their production by up to 20 times. 

Even with donations from the sets of large TV dramas, medical professionals face shortages that are forcing hospitals to re-use masks that are designed for single uses. The CDC is now recommending that hospitals cancel elective and non-urgent procedures in order to conserve PPE.