With shortages of personal protective equipment across the nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Lehigh Valley Health Network is recycling surgical wrap to make coverings to extend the life of protective masks.
“There’s a sense of urgency as its been well documented that health care providers everywhere are running low on N-95 respirator masks,” said Donald Hougendobler, LVHN’s Director of Environment and Sustainability.
According to the national food and drug administration, the N-95 respirator masks cover the nose and mouth and protect the wearer from airborne particles and liquid contaminating the face.
LVHN colleagues joined together at the School of Nursing building at Lehigh Valley Hospital – 17th Street to construct blue wrap mask coverings. They practiced social distancing to keep each other safe by setting up small working stations throughout the room.
LVHN said that one mask can be made every two minutes with a few supplies including blue sterile wrap, a hole-punch and twine. These blue wrap mask coverings greatly increase the lifespan of N-95 respirator masks.
“Using blue sterile wrap adds an extra barrier if put over the N-95 mask and it will make them last a lot longer,” Hougendobler said. “This little solution [mask coverings] will give us peace of mind and allow us to protect our patients and colleagues.”