MBP OLOL Cancer Center staff steps up to make masks

MBP OLOL Cancer Center staff steps up to make masks
Staff members at Mary Bird Perkins - OLOL Cancer Center are making plastic masks to be used for both patients and staff at the cancer center. (Source: Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Non-clinical staff at Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center put aside their desk jobs this week to make face masks. Their small assembly line produced 55 plastic face guards to be used inside the cancer center.

“One face shield, because we can sterilize it, wipe it down, and use it again, can help us save many, many N95 respirators or other types of protective gear, so the availability of this resource really is essential to making sure we continue to have that emergency supply of masks to deploy when we absolutely have to have them,” said Dr. Jonah Fontenot, chief operating officer and chief of physics.

Staff members at Mary Bird Perkins - OLOL Cancer Center are making plastic masks to be used for both patients and staff at the cancer center.
Staff members at Mary Bird Perkins - OLOL Cancer Center are making plastic masks to be used for both patients and staff at the cancer center. (Source: Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center)

Cancer patients are among those at high risk of serious complications from an infection because their immune systems are often weakened by cancer and its treatments. The face guards help protect patients and staff.

Most of the materials for the shields are available at local craft stores: sheets of plastic, foam, elastic bands, and glue.

It’s just one way cancer center staff is pulling together and getting creative during a difficult time.

“Just yesterday I was talking with another hospital and with the state about using ionizing radiation as a disinfectant,” Fontenot explained. “Everybody’s thinking outside the box. Everybody’s trying to figure out what resources are available in order to put together a system that will ultimately provide the support that we all collectively need.”

Staff members are standing by to make more of the plastic face guards if they’re needed.

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