O’NEILL, Neb. (April 17, 2020) – Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital is using an ultraviolet light to decontaminate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care teams in Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center provided the light, which can help conserve masks and other PPE. It can disinfect N95 masks for health care organizations and first responders. Avera St. Anthony's said it will help make sure PPE is safe for more than 20 hospitals in the area.
“We’re thankful to have the light and appreciate the grant funding that made it possible,” said Amy Langan, RN, BSN, director of nursing at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital. “It’ll help us keep our staff, patients and others as safe as possible. We can treat masks for many people and organizations, which is consistent with the Avera mission.”
The light uses a process that researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center developed. They did that work alongside Nebraska Medicine. A number of Avera facilities across its five-state footprint are putting the disinfecting lights to use. Langan said it will be ready to use the week of Monday, April 20.
Avera St. Anthony’s also has received support from regional emergency services. Additional medical supplies, to help with patient surges to come, arrived from the North Central District Health Department. It included a Rural Region One Medical Response System (RROMRS), which is a mobile emergency department service vehicle.
The public is encouraged to remain steadfast in personal protection, social distancing and other efforts to avoid exposure to the virus.
“The basics are still important, such as washing your hands, using masks when in public and staying home if you’re sick,” Langan said. “You can still get medical care when needed. Make sure to call your hospital or clinic before you come. This will help everyone stay safe.”
You can call 402-336-2900 for information about care at Avera Medical Group O’Neill Clinic. You can learn more about Avera’s efforts in the pandemic at Avera.org/covid-19.