Volunteers making gowns for hospital

by Chris Peterson
Editor | March 25, 2020 6:25 AM

Volunteers are sewing isolation gowns for North Valley Hospital. An isolation gown is typically a disposable paper gown that healthcare staff like doctors and nurses wear when attending to a contagious patient, such as coronavirus.

The gowns are typically thrown out after each and every visit with a patient, Whitney Casey, program manager for medical equipment contracts and project management said Monday.

It’s not that the hospital is running low on gowns, she said.

“We’re good on all our personal protective equipment,” she said.

The 25-bed hospital is simply being proactive, she said.

Nationwide there has been a shortage of protective equipment for hospital workers.

Local volunteers came forward to ask how they could help. Then when they bought the material the store spread the word further.

“We had people calling immediately offering help,” Casey said. “I’m completely overwhelmed by the response of the community.”

The gowns will be made of a polyester cotton blend and unlike the paper gowns, they’ll be washed, sterilized and reused. The plan right now is to sew 285 gowns.

They had to deconstruct a paper gown to make a pattern at first, but Casey is now working on a digital pattern that can be printed out.

The gowns are all extra large in size and sashes on the neck and waist can be tied down to make them smaller as need be.

At this point, the effort doesn’t need more volunteers, Casey said.

“We have more volunteers than source material,” Casey said.