Tidelands Health gets “overwhelming” support, as 2,000 volunteers offer to sew crucial medical masks

Georgetown County News

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – A Grand Strand hospital says it’s received overwhelming support from people looking to help provide medical workers with a crucial piece of equipment.

Hospitals nationwide are trying to find enough equipment to meet the demand of all the patients being treated for the coronavirus. Tidelands Health is getting help from plenty of people who sew.

Tidelands nursing chief Pam Maxwell says the hospital has thousands of N95 masks, which are crucial to medical workers in the fight against COVID-19, but there’s one problem.

“It’s just that the straps that hold the mask on your head are very, very brittle,” said Maxwell.

Tidelands asked for help sewing new straps on the N95 masks and they definitely got it. The health care provider says more than 2,000 people have volunteered to sew the masks.

Maxwell explains how the masks protect medical workers from infection.

“When you’re doing a respiratory treatment and, unfortunately, most of these patients have lung disease,” she said. “A lot of these patients are getting respiratory treatments, or whenever you’re causing the patient to cough or sneeze, or of course, unfortunately, when you’re doing CPR.”

Tidelands says it got such a great response, it no longer needs any more volunteers.

Once the new straps are sewn on, they’re sterilized just like any other medical equipment.

“They would get wrapped individually,” Maxwell said. “They would go into the sterilizer. There would be a drying time and a turnover time. Then, they would be delivered onto the floor.”

Maxwell also says Tidelands will possibly need other equipment like ventilators, face shields and isolation gowns. She also says hospitals nationwide will likely need the same supplies.

Follow Tidelands Health on its website for any updates if you’d like to help.

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