LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Surgical staff at UofL Hospital have repurposed an everyday medical item to help some of the city’s most vulnerable.
Employees collected used wraps that cover sterilized surgical instruments to make sleeping bags and pillows as well as a large tote to carry them in, reusing material that normally would be tossed in the garbage.
“It’s a great way to reach out to a population that could benefit from these kits and get use out of the sterile wraps,” said Donna Hale, an assistant in surgical services at UofL Hospital. “The wraps are waterproof, so we are hoping they can be helpful to the homeless.”
A scrub tech saw a story on social media about a hospital in another state using the blue sterile wraps to make sleeping bags, and UofL Hospital staffers wanted to expand the concept to include pillows and a bag to carry the items, said Kathy Robinson, R.N., clinical manager of surgical services at UofL Hospital.
The hospital employees gathered together during their free time to sew the kits, which were delivered to Wayside Christian Mission last week. They plan to continue making the kits and hope to inspire other health care facilities to join the effort.
“We are always looking for ways to help people in the community and we were very excited about being able to do this,” Robinson said. “This also is a great way to address the hospital’s waste because these perfectly useful wraps would just be thrown away.”