These Colorado nurses are sewing their own face masks

Two nurses at Glenwood Springs, Colo.-based Valley View Hospital landed on a creative solution to help protect the hospital's dwindling supply of personal protective equipment — they're sewing their own medical masks, reports NBC affiliate 9News Denver.

After learning they'd be participating in fewer elective surgeries this week, operating room nurses Brady Heuer and Kristen Dirksen gathered a small team to make masks using leftover sterile surgical wraps. The nurses are sewing straps onto the material to form the masks and adding pipe cleaners as a nose piece. They made about 200 masks in the project's first 24 hours.

"This creation that we're making will help extend that burn rate so we can selectively choose when to use the FDA-approved N95 masks and surgical masks and when to use the masks that we're creating here," Ms. Dirksen told 9News Denver.

Hospitals nationwide are grappling with similar PPE shortages. The federal government is currently distributing 5 million respirator masks to states from the national stockpile, but the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said more masks will be needed as the pandemic continues.

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