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AU pharmacy produces hand sanitizer in-house for hospital use

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 5:06 PM EDT
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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Augusta University Health has been a front runner for multiple COVID-19 prevention operations. From creating new COVID-19 tests to running testing sites, all to help the community. But now, there's another operation going on.

And they've never done this before either.

There's a small factory running inside AU now -- producing hand sanitizer. A production they hope will help save more lives with each batch.

Hand sanitizer has been one of the top products sold when the COVID-19 pandemic first began. Stores struggled to keep it, amongst other essentials, on the shelves. Even now, some people can barely find a bottle anywhere.

This is why AU decided to help out in a new way.

"This is an area where we saw a need, and we could fill that need, so we did," Kelly Keats said.

Keats is an Augusta University Pharmacy resident, but now she spends her day making hand sanitizer.

The hospital asked if their staff could do it-- so they went to work.

"We were able to make a test batch, and we decided this is pretty good hand sanitizer," Keats said. "Smells like hand sanitizer, looks like hand sanitizer."

And with FDA relaxing restrictions, it's now legal for the pharmacy to make. So Keats, along with Joshua Rhodes, are helping make anywhere from five to ten gallons of sanitizer per day.

"We are probably supplying, I'd guess, about 25 to 50 percent of what the hospital needs," Keats said. "Most providers are using hand sanitizer dozens of times a day."

And it's no surprise that the hospital needs a lot -- they use it when they enter a room and when they leave. And it's outside almost every door for patients to use as they pass by.

"Everyone who enters the hospital should have the ability to be as clean and virus and bacteria-free as possible," Keats said.

During any pandemic, that's more important than ever. And this pharmacy turned factory is changing lives.

According to CDC guidelines, hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based with greater than 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol is effective for disinfecting against COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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