Australia SA-made face masks assure good supply at Limestone Coast hospitals

09:06  11 august  2020
09:06  11 august  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The South Australian-made masks are supplied to hospitals through the SA Health distribution centre. (ABC News: Patrick Stone) © Provided by ABC Health The South Australian-made masks are supplied to hospitals through the SA Health distribution centre. (ABC News: Patrick Stone)

South Australian-made face masks have been delivered to hospitals across the Limestone Coast, shoring up supply chains in preparation of a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.

There are no active cases of the virus in the region, but the .

Nurse consultant in Infection Prevention and Control with the LHN Nicole Vause said the supply chain was protected with the masks being made in the state.

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Face masks must be prioritised for health workers. Bruce Thompson, dean of health at Swinburne Doctors are appealing for more urgent government action to boost supplies of personal protective Instead of finding ways to make or buy a face mask , Dr Seale said it was a better idea to focus on

As hospitals around the country prepare for an influx of highly infectious coronavirus cases, their supplies of a crucial type of respirator mask are dwindling fast. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common.

"It's a locally manufactured surgical respiratory mask, which is fabulous for South Australia to ensure that our supply chain is maintained during this pandemic," she said.

"It ensures all our healthcare workers should have a constant supply of these masks."

Ms Vause said it put staff in a good position in case the outbreak worsened.

"It's an important process of dealing with this current pandemic and it's a wonderful opportunity to ensure that our supply chains don't become interrupted by export restrictions," she said.

"By having them manufactured locally, it ensures a ready-made supply.

"Everyone's working really hard to be prepared for a potential second wave in the region."

Staff safety high priority

Ms Vause said the high quality D95+ masks were important for protecting all hospital staff.

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"It helps our staff ensure that they have the personal protective equipment that they need to protect their airways when dealing with respiratory diseases," she said.

"So it's really important to ensure that we have this available 24/7 to ensure our staff and patient safety."

Hospital workers in the Limestone Coast are undergoing 'fit testing' to ensure the new masks fit each individual adequately.

"Staff are fit tested for these masks just to make sure that the mask is the correct one that fits the shape of their face," Ms Vause said.

"It provides protection for our healthcare workers when they're performing aerosol-generating procedures.

"And we then provide our staff with a little badge, which they can attach to their ID, which lets them know which mask fits them correctly."

Meanwhile, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia was encouraging community members to wear masks in public — even if it was not mandated.

President John Hall said increasing the number of people wearing masks benefited everyone in the community.

"The recommendations are that we should be wearing masks in situations where we can't maintain social distancing," Dr Hall said.

"Masks are just another layer on top of all the other protective measures that we know work."

Dr Hall said he recommended members of the public wear masks in high-risk areas.

"That would be hospital waiting rooms and GP surgeries, so places where people who are unwell congregate," he said.

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