ARCATA – Mad River Community Hospital (MRCH) has been looking for alternate solutions to protect their staff in response to the supply chain disruption from COVID-19. Face shield eye protection is one part of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required to keep our frontline healthcare workers safe from infection. Unable to restock the head bands used to hold the shield in place, the hospital reached out to staff contacts in the local 3D printing maker community.
“This is one of the situations 3D printing people dream about when they buy a printer” said one 3D printer who asked to remain anonymous. MRCH is expecting to be able to replenish and replace face shield stock in a matter of days for staff with these donations.
In addition to the 3D printing community, Humboldt County’s sewers and seamstress community has banded together creating a Humboldt Coronavirus Mask Makers group on Facebook to help connect makers with facilities in need of homemade PPE masks. Mad River Community Hospital has requested a donation to outfit their staff in an effort to extend the life of the N95 masks which can be worn until soiled per CDC guidelines.
“We are grateful for our community support. Our community is caring for the caregivers so we can care for them” said Pamela Floyd, chief compliance and public information officer at MRCH. Over 100 of the locally sewn masks were delivered to the hospital yesterday.
Facebook group creator and Licensed Clinical Social Worker April Alexander, St. Joseph Cancer Program, shared her drive behind the movement “I’m very aware of immune compromised patients and the importance of keeping caregivers protected from the COVID-19 virus… We expect a PPE shortage locally, so we wanted to get ahead of that and start making masks now. It’s been amazing to see the community come together so quickly for such an important cause”
Donations of PPE can be made at the Main Hospital Entrance Monday through Friday from noon to 2 p.m. Facilities in need of masks can reach out to the Facebook group Humboldt Coronavirus Mask Makers for donations.
For more information on how to respond to COVID-19 go to madriverhospital.com.