Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital nurse Kaila Radan had crafted eight headbands with buttons attached as of April 7, 2020, to help relieve pressure hospital staff were experiencing from wearing mask straps around their ears. (Kaila Radan/Submitted photo)

Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital nurse Kaila Radan had crafted eight headbands with buttons attached as of April 7, 2020, to help relieve pressure hospital staff were experiencing from wearing mask straps around their ears. (Kaila Radan/Submitted photo)

Banding together: Haida Gwaii nurse crafts headbands to save sore ears from mask straps

Kaila Radan making headbands with buttons to take pressure off ears of masked hospital staff

Supplies of surgical masks drying up due to COVID-19. Manufacturers increasing the production and export of medical-grade masks and N95 respirators. Sewers stitching masks to free up supplies for frontline workers and changing advice about who should wear one.

If you’ve been following recent headlines and are starting to feel a bit of face mask fatigue, just imagine how you’d feel if you’d been wearing one for a week and a half.

Kaila Radan, a nurse at the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital in Masset, told the Observer she and other frontline workers at the hospital have been wearing extra personal protective equipment, including masks, for more than a week as a precaution against the virus.

“The straps from them, they fold around over your ear, which creates a lot of pressure if you’re working a 12-hour shift,” Radan said. “I had worked a couple of shifts and my ears were sore.”

ALSO READ: Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

So when a nurse friend in Ontario sent Radan a photo of a simple headband that helps relieve the pressure, she decided to make one on her day off.

She said the design is basically a fabric headband with buttons attached, which gives the wearer something other than their ears to hook mask straps on to.

ALSO READ: U.S. emerging as common denominator in world’s struggle to secure medical gear

While Radan said she’s “by no means a professional seamstress,” her and her roommate craft a lot, so she had fabric scraps around the house ready to go.

She has also been searching for more materials in Haida Gwaii buy-and-sell Facebook groups, since she’d made eight of the headbands as of April 7.

“It’s something to work on while I’m puttering around the house,” she told the Observer. “I figured I’d make a couple for other people.”

Radan said she was planning to give the extra headbands to other hospital staff.

“If there’s demand I’m happy to make them.”

ALSO READ: Second Haida Nation webinar centres on mental health, well-being amid COVID-19

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


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In this submitted photo, Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital nurse Kaila Radan models the first of several headbands she crafted to make wearing face masks more comfortable for local frontline workers. (Kaila Radan/Submitted photo)

In this submitted photo, Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital nurse Kaila Radan models the first of several headbands she crafted to make wearing face masks more comfortable for local frontline workers. (Kaila Radan/Submitted photo)

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