Medical teams are on the front lines taking care of the growing number of patients with COVID-19, but they need protective equipment to guard against the infectious disease.

Because of potential shortages at hospitals, Integris Baptist Medical Center is turning to other industries as well as the community for help.

Integris held a donation event Saturday. Members of the community dropped off gloves and surgical masks. 

A small number of equipment suppliers, coupled with increasing demand, more hospitals are finding it difficult to get the medical supplies that they need.

Integris Medical Director of Infectious Diseases Dr. David Chansolme said now is the time to be proactive.

“What do we need? We need tests (and) we need personal protective equipment,” Chansolme said. “Money is great but I would just use it to buy tests and personal protective equipment. Until we can get that kind of stuff, it’s going to be a real challenge to be able to deliver the care efficiently.”

In addition to protective equipment, hospitals also need ventilators. 

Healthcare officials said if they don’t get the necessary equipment soon, those taking care of the sick will become sick themselves.