TAMPA, Fla. - These days, there is a different kind of operation happening at BayCare. For the past few weeks, BayCare nurses and staff have been busy putting their crafty skills to work.
The group is making personal protective equipment for all the medical staff on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
With a national shortage, these masks are in high demand.
Dr. Nishant Anand, who is the chief medical officer at BayCare, says it’s amazing to see his medical team pitching in any way they can.
“BayCare is incredibly proud to be able to use all resources at our disposal to make masks for our healthcare workers.”
“Being a nurse, it feels amazing to be able to help my fellow nurses that are in the hospital taking care of the patients,” offered longtime nurse Susan Milliken, who is spearheading the effort.
These days, a sewing room can be just as vital as an operating room. The group has set up shop at BayCare’s system office. They put together an assembly line of sorts. There is a cutting area, a sewing station, and a shipping room.
“One person is cutting the masks, another person is cutting the ties for the mask, and we’re also cutting wire. That is what we are using for the nose piece. And so you have a nice tight seal when you’re wearing a mask,” explained Milliken.
The masks are made from surgical material that’s checked out and approved by BayCare’s infectious disease team.
“My thanks goes out to all the people that are making those masks for us. They’re bringing their talents and expertise to help in a time of crisis,” added Dr. Anand.
So far, the sewing team has made over 5,000 face masks and 1,500 face shields. It’s a seamless effort that’s saving lives one stitch at a time.
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