Hamilton frontline health worker asks public to send face masks for emergency unit

A local emergency medicine resident is calling out to residents on social media to donate face masks for Hamilton hospitals before they run out because of COVID-19.

The emergency medicine resident was in self-isolation when he posted online asking others to send their masks

Face masks are also in short supply. (Submitted by Kyle Saikaley)

As an emergency medicine resident working on the frontline in Hamilton's hospitals, Kyle Saikaley knows with each day he and healthcare works inch closer to running out of face masks because of COVID-19.

The situation would surely put them in a dilemma — how can you protect the public if you can't protect yourself?

But the answer may lie within the public he's trying to protect.

"We know that over the last few days and weeks the public did buy a large supply of surgical masks and N95 masks," Saikaley told CBC News.

"We're trying to determine the number of masks people are willing to donate."

Kyle Saikaley wants locals who bought face masks to donate them to frontline health workers in Hamilton before they run out of protective gear in hospitals. (Submitted by Kyle Saikaley)

While sitting in self-isolation, he posted online in the CareMongering Toronto Facebook group asking locals to send the hospitals any unopened masks they bought, with the hopes that he and other healthcare workers can use them.

Saikaley said the hospitals also want to see just how many masks people bought.

But they face another challenge — determining if any of the masks can be used.

"We would start thinking about screening the type of people who are offering their masks," Saikaley said.

So far, he said two people have reached out offering to send masks. He hopes more will come forward soon but has received wide support through likes, comments and shares for the callout.

"Anything in short supply should not be hoarded during a time of crisis," Saikaley said.

"I'm incredibly grateful for the ton of support this has received so far."


Bobby Hristova


Bobby Hristova is a reporter/editor with CBC Hamilton. Email: bobby.hristova@cbc.ca