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Alliance Rubber Co. has fast-tracked its manufacture of tourniquets as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a company director said Wednesday.

The Hot Springs company manufactures Non-Latex Tourniquets with Antimicrobial Product Protection, Misty Smith, Alliance creative director, said, noting they began looking into making tourniquets at the end of last year.

Alliance already supplies "rubber bands to the medical community," she said, and "we found we could produce these."

Now that the coronavirus is spreading across the globe, Smith said it is getting harder for hospitals to restock their supplies and having the tourniquets being made in America will make it easier to get them back in stock.

Smith said introducing a new product "usually takes us a little bit longer," but they sped this effort up as they "knew we could meet demand."

Having new tourniquets available means they will not have to be reused, a news release said.

"Recent studies have concluded that reusing tourniquets could potentially spread bacterial microorganisms in various health care settings. Further studies have also determined that hospital staff performing venipuncture do not always comply with hospital hand hygiene and tourniquet washing and disinfection guidelines."

Tourniquets are commonly used for phlebotomy in clinical settings, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Smith said the company is also helping make masks during the pandemic. She said Benton High School students are making face masks and Alliance donated two packages of non-latex rubber bands to the school to help with the construction of the masks.

There are two kinds of masks being made, including one that loops around the wearer's ears, and one that goes around the wearer's head. Smith said they have rubber bands that are the right size for both kinds.

To further assist the public, Smith said the company is going to publish a PDF file on their blog that will show people how to construct their own masks at home at https://rubberband.com/blog.

Smith stressed the masks are not a replacement for a respirator.

The workers at Alliance are still working at the factory, Smith said, noting that as the factory supplies materials for the medical industry, they have been deemed an essential business.

She said they are making efforts to keep everyone safe while they continue to work, noting employees are not allowed to leave their area while they are at work to prevent contact between workers.

Local on 03/26/2020

Print Headline: Alliance Rubber Co. produces medical supplies for pandemic

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