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FEATURE


Mankato Surgery Center, Mankato, Minnesota


Joleen Harrison, RN, CASC, adminis- trative director of Mankato Surgery Cen- ter started making masks back in March for a Covid-19-HELP group on Face- book. She used a sterilization wrap, or blue wrap, to make the masks. “This is a barrier material that we are not thinking about and has a rating for being a barrier for sterile supplies after it is sterilized,” she says. “Medline is where we are get- ting the supply of Gemini sterilization wrap. This is not N95 rated but similar as a surgical mask.” The manufacturer of the material says that the wrap is not meant to make masks and it cannot guar- antee breathability, Harrison says. “I per- sonally have tested wearing it for a few hours and the breathability is good.” The material is easy to sew and she


has devised a pattern to mirror the sur- gical masks with ties that are in use currently, she says. It has a twist tie or pipe cleaner for the nose bridge. The mask can also go over the N95 masks or be doubled up. “We are putting the masks through


a heat cycle after they are made and returned,” Harrison says. “I then seal them in a bag and also in a sealed tote for the length of time that the CDC recommends. I wait three to five days before giving them out.”


At press time, Harrison and her


sewing group had made more than 4,000 masks and were expecting to finish 1,200 more soon.


Oregon Surgical Institute, Beaverton, Oregon An employee of the ASC read an article about re-purposing sterile processing wraps, and the entire surgery center came together to make masks. “We gath- ered our entire team, along with doctors, physician assistants and reps and started to sew,” says Erin McKay, administra- tor. “Most of us have never used a sew- ing machine, but together we made 175


masks to share with our families, friends and local MD offices.” The team made masks in three sizes, she says, adult, child and toddler sizes. “Additionally, we gave 1,800 surgical masks to our two local hospitals, Legacy and Providence. “We know we are not on the front line


but we are keenly aware that we have the ability and the resources to hopefully make difference,” McKay says. The ASC has a group of trauma doctors and has been seeing patients in need of emergent/urgent surgeries, McKay says. “This has been good for staff and for our community, as we are still serving in a capacity that affords patients the ability to have a necessary surgery in a safe environment.” The center has tightened up its screening process and is following guidelines similar to the hospitals, e.g., extensive screening, no visitors in the lobby, temperature screening for every- one walking through the door, includ- ing staff, and rescheduling patients if anything falls out of compliance with the guidelines, McKay says. “We are prepared if we need to act as a resource center for the hospitals as well as pre- pared to get back to business as usual— whenever that may be,” she says.


Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Center, Davenport, Iowa “We closed our endo facility for a cou- ple of weeks and then re-opened last week—just two days a week—to help


take the burden off the hospital endo department,” says Michael J. Patter- son, RN, ASCA Board member and president and chief executive officer of Mississippi Valley Endoscopy Cen- ter, at press time. “Our multispecialty ASC has been open the entire time but only performing surgery on Tues- day and Thursdays. We are performing ‘necessary surgeries’ only. Same thing with our endo facility.” Some of the team members have taken temporary assignments to assist with COVID- 19 testing, others have decided to stay home because they have small chil- dren to care for or older family mem- bers that need assistance, he says. “We have supported each staff member in their decisions based on their indi- vidual circumstances.” Valley View Hospital, the joint


venture partner of Mississippi Val- ley


Endoscopy Center, canceled


elective surgeries at the hospital for the foreseeable future in the middle of March. When it did, the employ- ees, headed by nurses Brady Heuer and Kristen Dirksen, started sew- ing masks out of the blue wrap cloth used to protect sterilized surgical tools from contaminants before sur- gery, according to a March 19 article in Post Independent. For more information on the corona-


virus and ASCs, visit ASCA’s COVID-19 Resource Center at ascassociation.org/ covid-19.


ASC FOCUS JUNE/JULY 2020 | ascfocus.org 19


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