Officials with Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center said they have adequate supplies of face masks during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, although community members have asked to help.
Hospital staff said they are monitoring personal protective equipment like face masks on a daily basis, and are practicing good stewardship to conserve and optimize supplies.
Emergency department physician Brian Kueser said the hospital is following Centers for Disease Control guidelines. He said other areas like Kansas City are experiencing shortages.
Surgical masks come in different grades for different purposes. Kueser said the top grade must be properly fitted.
“We have also had several very kind inquiries from the community to make homemade fabric masks,” Chief Operating Officer Wendy Brazil said. “Fabric masks are the last resort according to CDC. We are taking the names of those who offer to make these masks, and will consider this option if we get further guidance from CDC.”
NMRMC suspended non-urgent surgeries as of the start of the week. Essential surgical procedures are done based on the patient’s condition and review by the physician.
Kueser said homemade masks can provide a little help, but they must be used appropriately when someone takes one off or puts it on.