Sunday, April 5, 2020

UMC Wants You!

UMC issued the following statement.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center is calling on the community to help protect its employees after the Mississippi Department of Health directed all health care professionals in the state to wear a mask while at work.

The policy is aligned with the Center for Disease Control’s current recommendations regarding the use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Home-sewn masks will also make it possible to save precious personal protective equipment, or PPE, for employees working in direct-patient care areas. PPE is in limited supply at the Medical Center and around the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which by Saturday had killed 6,593 Americans and sickened over 277,000.

Dr. Laura Vick, associate professor of general surgery at UMMC and longtime seamstress, has been ahead of the curve. She has been living by the motto of “preparing, not panicking” during these uncertain times.

So, several weeks ago, when colleague and nurse practitioner Katie Smith told Vick how her mother, a seamstress, desperately wanted to make something to help protect health care professionals and patients, she had an idea.

Vick returned home that night to her dining-room-turned-sewing-room, which is packed with fabrics and several sewing machines, and got to work. The next morning, she brought three different prototypes of surgical masks, which Dr. Matthew Kutcher, assistant professor of surgery, tried out.

Vick’s goal: produce additional masks and equipment for use by health care professionals in low-risk settings, and free up precious PPE for employees taking care patients.

“What we’re trying to do is prepare, not panic,” Vick said in the Facebook video she posted demonstrating how to make the masks.

The video had been viewed over 90,000 times with 1,100 shares by Sunday morning, and the Medical Center has received generous donations of masks and other equipment in the past weeks. Individuals and businesses also donated other PPE, meals for health care workers, monetary donations and tablets and smart phones for telehealth appointments.

“We are so grateful to our community for stepping up and supporting us during this time,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the school of medicine. “What we are doing in response to this outbreak in Mississippi would not be possible without the help of the people of this state.”

In the video, Vick details how to make the mask she and Kutcher decided was the most universal and useful. The masks are cotton on the front and flannel on the back, and each person who wants to participate is asked to make five as a starting point.

And back at UMMC, she delivered the first eight masks she made to several on-call surgical trauma residents for use in caring for trauma patients.

Vick has kept up her momentum on Facebook, posting videos about how to make surgical caps, which are also in demand.

Word reached groups like the Susannah Stitchers, a group of around 20 women that meets weekly at Chris United Methodist Church in Jackson. They have been sewing items for the Medical Center for 20 years, making everything from 200 prayer quilts for transplant patients to burial gowns, blankets and bonnets for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who passed away.

McDonald said she and her group members were “hungry to do something.”

“We want to help but feel like we can’t. We’re stranded, we can’t get out, so it just means so much to us to be able to do something,” she said.

Others who want to make and donate masks can drop them off in the secure bin at the overhang outside of the Nelson C. Norman Student Union on the Jackson campus.

They may also be mailed to the UMMC Office of Development, 2500 N. State St., Jackson, MS.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon that has been repeatedly calling for masks to be work by all. Made zero sense for the CDC to recommend against mask wearing. Better late than never though. All of you naysayers arguing against mask wearing can kiss my grits.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness I read this blog. I’m an emergency healthcare worker, and knew nothing about this order. I guess I’m supposed to use the one (N95) mask that t was issued. I’m lucky though. Only half the folks on our fire department were issued anything. When this is all over, somebody needs to take a hard look at where all the emergency preparedness funding for Mississippi went. There sure are a lot of masks & gloves in the hands of agencies that don’t provide any patient care. Same goes for communication... Just crickets. We learn everything from the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

@5:10
I can't speak for the emergency preparedness, but a lot of social media evidence from Australia/NZ, Canada, and the EU, and right here in the USA point to Chinese nationals or Chinese Americans buying out stocks of masks as early as December and shipping them to China. They left very little for their hosts and they didn't care. By Mid February if you lived in a city somewhere in the world with a large enough Chinese population, you couldn't find any masks at all.

Kingfish said...

No social media. The actual media has been reporting on what the commie scumbags did. First the bastards infected everyone, then went out and bought up the stocks of masks and other medical supplies.

Anonymous said...

Question for someone with infectious disease control experience: I have a few of the basic dust masks from years past. I understand that they are no where near as effective as surgical masks, but surely they help with some airborne particles while keeping a minimum 6 foot distance from others. I've haven't had to go shopping yet but will soon have to get out for basics. Also, will spraying the masks before and after with Lysol or other disinfectant make any difference?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they shipped them to China when the Mayor asked everybody to a couple of months back

Anonymous said...

@5:55, not an infectious disease control expert but I will tell you that anything you might spray on the mask to kill a virus will kill you as well. You can use rubbing alcohol on the mask to sanitize it for reuse. But you must allow it to evaporate before wearing it. And wearing anything is better than nothing. It will reduce inhaling respiratory vapors more than if you are wearing no mask. It will also help prevent you from spreading it as well since you could be infectious without symptoms.

Anonymous said...

FYI Kingfish, she doesn't demonstrate mask making. She is making the caps. Still cool. Impressive sewing room too.

Anonymous said...

It, unfortunately, made perfect sense for the CDC to recommend against us all wearing masks. It gave retailers, suppliers, manufacturers, etc. time to redirect those masks current in the supply chain to medical facilities, where they are essential. Yes, we all needed them all along, but the doctors and nurses on the front lines needed them more. The principal of the greatest good for the greatest number at work.

Anonymous said...

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is begging Unemployment Insurance staff that may have retired to return.

The executives remain clueless.

We warned the these new and ignorant 'executives' about the possibility of something like this 17 years ago.

They only said we were being negative and not 'team players'.

Now, they can't even answer the phone or maintain a working website.

Overwhelmed ?
Very much !

BUT . . .

The blame is on the executives.

(Not the poor souls that are busting their asses to help our unemployed ! )









Anonymous said...

@8:35
I disagree. They could've recommended the same homemade masks. It was wrong to recommend against masks because using the masks prevent the spread. Early mask adoption would've prevented the shutdown of the economy.

Anonymous said...

8:35 here again to correct "principal" in my last sentence to "principle" before someone loses the entire point of my comment just to correct my spelling.

Anonymous said...

The US government was, until very recently, still shipping PPE abroad through its international aid programs because no one knows how to government in the current administration. We did this to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile; The governor of Mississippi has put out a message that if parents will send in the name of a child with a birthday, he'll include well-wishes in his daily address. That plus his daily Bible verse will get us over this hump.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you saw the governor's presser today, @4:50, but I thought I had tuned into an old episode of "Romper Room." There was Tate, doing his best "Miss Ann" impersonation while reading the names of the birthday boys and girls. All he was missing was the magic mirror!

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