Hillsboro Area Hospital’s Team Members and Administration have received an outpouring of community support and appreciation for the hospital and all of our dedicated Team Members. Due to a nation-wide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), several of our community members reached out with an offer to make homemade masks for our employees.
Very early, when the hospital began to receive news of the Coronavirus outbreak, we immediately started making certain that we would be prepared if and when COVID-19 made it to our community. We reviewed our inventory of PPE and other items that we might need and placed orders to prepare us for the potential of a pandemic. This action was done to protect our team members and our patients.
With the outpouring of requests to make homemade masks for our staff, we began researching the information. Here is the CDC recommendation from their webpage concerning homemade masks:
“In settings where facemasks are not available, Health Care Professionals (HCP) might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for the care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade mask is not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to chin or below) and sides of the face.”
As added information, last week, we began masks fit testing for all of our team members. This process involves a series of steps to assure the mask is well fitted for each individual, in order to keep them safe and protected from exposure. These masks are classified as Personal Protective Equipment since their capabilities have been proven to protect Health Care Professionals. The number one goal of our hospital is to keep our front-line caregivers as safe as possible from exposure to COVID-19.
We want to thank our community for reaching out to assist us in these unsettling times. The situation is always evolving, and at this time, we do not know how many masks we will need. However, one thing is certain; if our supply of masks starts running low, we know our community and loved ones will be there to answer our call.