North Texas

Demand Up for Gear to Protect Health Care Workers

A North Texas company that makes protective gear in the fight against Ebola and other communicable diseases is working to keep up with the ever-increasing demand.

Prestige Ameritech in North Richland Hills produces face shields, respirators, surgical masks and other items worn by health care workers who treat patients with Ebola.

Demand has spiked for the products, said the company's executive vice president Mike Bowen.

"Orders on the face shields are up somewhere between 400 and 500 percent,” said Bowen.

Bowen said right now, employees are working two shifts five days a week to keep up with the demand, and they are considering staffing around the clock.

"We are considering working 24/7 which gives us a lot more capacity, plus we figure out a way to speed up the machinery," Bowen said.

The company has also developed what is called an impervious gown. That means it is resistant to fluids, and they expect the demand to be large for that as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines this week for how health care workers should protect themselves against the spread of disease.

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