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We had run out of our isolation gowns and needed to clean the isolation room after treating a dog with Methicillin Resistant Stapholococcus pseudointermedius infection. Our LVT Supervisor, Jessica Ebel created a gown from a large lawn and leaf garbage bag, clear small garbage bags for arm coverings, and one of our limited supply of surgical masks in addition to exam gloves. Her photo is reflective of the night’s activities and her end of shift joy.
Instead of giving masks to clients that want to come into the building but do not have one, we are taking a half of a puppy/potty pad and roll gauze (for tying it on) to create temporary masks. (at lease the client has their nose and mouth covered). Puppy pads are cheap in bulk, and it makes our clients happy knowing we care enough to do that for them, it keeps our patients more comfortable with their owner there as well.
Since we are not allowing clients in the building, we’ve set up a check-in area. Clients are given a handout about procedures, asked if they would like a water bottle or toy for their dog (while supplies last), and then told to park in an assigned numbered parking spot. The check-in person radios the team and informs when which spot number their appointment is in and the team comes out and collects the pet. It’s seamless and puts a smile on our client’s faces during a stressful time.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when masks were back-ordered, and we realized that we might not get in new masks for some time, I started sewing masks from semi-impermeable drape material used for wrapping surgery packs. I used directions from the internet and experimented with different designs. I figured the drape material might provide a better barrier than plain cotton, and I was right. I also experimented to see if the drape material was washable and reusable (it appears to be). Now that the PPE supply is less critical, we used the homemade masks for “social” work (meeting the local mask mandate for businesses) and reserve the surgical masks for surgery. However, should the supply of PPE every dwindle again, I am confident we have an alternative so we can continue doing surgery with no worries.