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Stamford, Conn. – Nov. 15, 2012 – AmeriCares is providing medical aid to the Nassau Community College shelter to assist storm victims with special medical needs. The nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization delivered 50 medical cots that are wider, sturdier and higher than a traditional cot, reducing the risks of falls for the elderly. The AmeriCares cots are adjustable, allowing shelter residents to raise and lower their upper bodies while resting. Debbie Hayden, R.N., the disaster health services lead for the American Red Cross in Long Island, said the AmeriCares cots are critical for homeless storm victims with congestive heart failure, sleep apnea and respiratory problems who cannot sleep lying flat. Some shelter residents were sleeping upright in chairs before the AmeriCares cots were delivered, she said.
“Just having a cot that allows shelter residents to elevate their heads could help save a life,” Hayden said.
The Nassau shelter is housing nearly 600 Long Islanders two weeks after Sandy devastated the coastline and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes. The cots are AmeriCares third aid delivery to the shelter. Earlier this week, AmeriCares delivered a dozen wheelchairs and a refrigerator to store insulin for diabetic patients, along with more than 1,400 pounds of first aid supplies and over-the-counter medicines. AmeriCares also delivered a truckload of bottled water to the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management.
AmeriCares relief workers have been working nonstop since the hurricane, supplying shelters and aid distribution centers with medical aid, family emergency kits, bottled water, blankets, first aid kits, flashlights and cleaning supplies. The aid organization has a 40-foot mobile clinic traveling to the hardest hit areas of New York City offering storm victims free flu shots, tetanus vaccines and medical care. AmeriCares relief workers are also working with World Cares Center to help storm victims in the Rockaways clean out damaged homes.