A team of local surgeons has developed their own pattern for homemade masks to protect against Coronavirus in under-resourced countries.
The group, coordinated from the Donegal Clinical and Research Academy, is sharing the pattern free of charge for anyone around the world who does not have access to personal protection equipment (PPE) and for non-medical workers to make their own masks at home.
Concerned by the global shortage of PPE, the team has spent the past two weeks working with a dressmaker to design a novel pattern. The masks can be made using materials found at home, as well as everyday clothes.
The four medics have acted quickly to create a how-to video and have submitted a scientific paper on the pattern for consideration of publication to the Irish Journal of Medical Science.
Michael Sugrue, Surgeon at Letterkenny University Hospital, stressed that this mask is not a replacement for medically-approved facemasks. However, given the global shortage of PPE, he said the homemade pattern may be a “last resort” for healthcare staff in third world counties.
“We are concerned about the lack of PPE globally, not specifically in Ireland,” Dr Sugrue said.
“Given than currently over one million people have Covid-19 and 50,000 people have died, we have designed this mask for people to make in the comfort of their own homes.
“Many healthcare workers and physicians have died as a result of having no PPE at all.
“Working with dressmaker Marite Vilane and Lorraine McClean from the Zip Yard Letterkenny, our pattern was designed on the basis of previous studies. We are comfortable that it will provide some form of protection, but given the speed of the crisis, it has not been medically tested.
“I am not entering the debate on whether we should be wearing a mask or not but we are providing people with an option. Any protection is better than none,” he said.
Mr Sugrue recommends that people who want to follow the pattern should source polycotton or water-resistant fabrics, along with elastic strands for the tie. But he stressed they could improvise.
The pattern has been posted online by the Donegal Clinical and Research Academy www.dcra.ie – a trust for the advancement of medical care and clinical research in Donegal. It is hoped that the video will be shared worldwide to support disadvantaged staff during the global emergency.
“I’m delighted with the teamwork here in this project. People can share the video online and feel free to try and make the masks at home” Dr Sugrue added.
The team involved in the homemade facemask project is:
- Mr. Michael Sugrue, Consultant Breast and General Surgeon at Letterkenny University Hospital
- Prof Derek O’Keeffe – Department of Medicine in Galway University Hospital
- Mr Ryan Sugrue – Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Galway University Hospital
- Mr. Manvydas Varzgalis – Consultant Breast and General Surgeon at Letterkenny University Hospital
- Lorraine McClean – Owner of Zip Yard, Marite Vilane and Seamus Hughes
Mr Sugrue expressed his hope that fabric providers and industry could come together with Zip Yard and start making the product. “In addition another very important product to make would be water proof long sleeve full length gown or jump suits,” he added.Tags: