West Cork fabric firm upgrading PPE for CUH staff

April 16th, 2020 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Some of the gowns from China were too short for Irish staff. (Photo: Support for Nurses, Midwives and Frontline Staff in Ireland on Faceook)

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A WEST Cork fabric company has worked around the clock to make the consignment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recently received from China at CUH suitable for use.

Sullane Valley Manufacturing, based in Baile Mhic Íre, or Ballymakerra near Macroom, got a call from the HSE on Friday asking for their help.

Company director Siobhán Uí Scannláin explained how a staff member went to CUH at the weekend to get a better understanding of the problem, and they then set to work tailoring the garments so that they would be safe to use.

‘They got a lot of jumpsuit-type things. So we took the legs off them and used them as sleeves, because a lot of the sleeves on the garments are too short. We were able to use the legs as sleeves, and they also had elastic at the end, so that was good. They also wanted to get rid of the zips and use velcro because that’s safer,’ she explained.

Staff members Margaret O’Sullivan agus Geraldine Cullinane worked from morning to night all weekend to fulfil the initial requirement for the hospital, and that the whole team was now working on the project since Monday.

‘The most important thing for them is to be able to remove the garment quickly when they’ve finished working with the sick patient, and dispose of it,’ Siobhán added.

Siobhán said that the advantage of the material used in the PPE the hospital had received was that no liquid could penetrate  it, and that the company was trying to source more similar material, but that was proving difficult at the moment.

‘If we could get the material, we could do anything for them. We’re working with what’s there now – there are boxes (of the PPE) over in the factory that need to be amended, and we’re happy to do everything we can to make them suitable for use.  We understand now what the nurses need for their teams, and when you have that understanding then you can do whatever they need,’ she said, speaking on An Saol ó Dheas on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.

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