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'Hero Bands' help health workers ease pain from wearing masks for long periods of time

Posted at 10:35 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 09:28:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and doctors are wearing masks and protective goggles for twelve hours a day, seven days a week. The constant wear and tear is causing health care workers to dread putting on their masks everyday.

Now, nurses are sewing to create comfortable alternatives on their days off.

"It was just after I had a twelve-hour shift of wearing the mask and my ears were bleeding from the masks, I mean it was painful," Natalia Hedges an ER nurse at McKay Dee Hospital said. "It really does get pretty sore to have the elastic and the goggles sitting on top of your ears. You never think about how that area is so sensitive ya know until you have to continuously wear this constantly," she said.

Utahns are coming up with ways to avoid discomfort by creating headbands with buttons making it possible to hook the elastic on the buttons instead of behind the ears. They call them 'Hero Bands'.

Shirley Sheffield is a Davis County resident and is making headbands for nurses from the confront of her own home.

"The buttons are on the side right there, so when they put their masks on, instead of the masks going over their ears, it goes over the buttons and there is no rubbing," she said.

Nurses say the Hero Bands are working.

"When you wear your mask it’s pretty great, instead of hooking it behind your ears we have got these neat little buttons here, and a lot of us at work wear a cloth cover to make our masks last longer, so now I have two rubber bands around my ear, but look how great that is!. It’s around the button and not our ear," said nurse Becky LeFevre Sims.

"Were doing this for our communities, it's not for our jobs, it's not of ourselves, it's not for our teams but its the bigger picture, for everybody else out there," said Hedges.

To donate to Shirley and Natalia feel free to reach out to them on Facebook.