FALL RIVER, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An unprecedented backlog of all imports, which includes medical products, is creating a crippling supply chain crisis throughout the United States. Last week, the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach announced that a record 70 container vessels were waiting offshore to unload their goods. In response, Merrow Manufacturing and Precision Fabrics Group (PFG) have mobilized their resources to alleviate widespread shortages, sub-standard design, highly variable quality, and increased prices of PPE with the creation of domestically produced reusable Level 1 and 2 isolation gowns. This proprietary gown design was created in collaboration with a group of infection prevention nurses and medical product engineers. The Merrow and PFG teams responded to the nurses’ acute concerns around PPE: “Will we get it? Will it perform?”
“Our mission has been to intensively listen and incorporate the nurses’ experience, insights, needs and wants into a protective gown that will provide comfort and freedom of movement, without sacrificing full-on protection during this incredibly strenuous COVID era,” says James Barry, Business Manager of Healthcare Products at PFG.
In addition to being reusable up to 125 times, these medical protective gowns are made of high-performance, antimicrobial, medical grade fabric, engineered for optimal protection of the body and neck areas, while also being priced competitively with lower quality, disposable PPE alternatives on a cost-per-use basis.
According to Merrow Manufacturing CEO Charlie Merrow, this advancement in isolation gown design and fabrication will not only sustain a supply of much needed U.S.-sourced PPE for healthcare workers, but also lower costs, enhance efficiencies, and maintain quality.
“The scarcity of PPE in the U.S. during 2020 preceded a hospital staffing crisis that is currently forcing some facilities to ration care. The latest increase in COVID cases only exacerbates the potential for substantial supply-chain disruption that has ensnared movement of goods worldwide,” says Merrow. “By combining this new innovative product with our sustainable production model, we can prevent a catastrophe.”
Merrow and PFG's post-pandemic industrial-based expansion of 100% USA sourced medical protective equipment, with a mission to operate at scale and as a sustainable, agile, industrial platform, strengthens the nation’s public health and medical infrastructure and ensures a continuous, accessible, secure source of PPE supply. The facilities in which they are manufactured are registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Proven in independent testing, the Merrow/PFG L2 Medical Gown meets and exceeds ASTM Level 1 & 2 standards.
With flu season rapidly approaching, private and public healthcare institutions are searching for immediate, reliable solutions to supply chain disruptions. This nurse-engineered product’s unique combination of secure domestic supply, innovative technology, and improved sustainability has the potential to resolve these issues and provide safety for providers, patients, and public health agencies. Federal and State organizations aligned with this mission are encouraged to contact Merrow and PFG.
About Merrow Manufacturing
Merrow Group Companies, established in 1838, is owned and operated by Owen and Charlie Merrow, 8th generation members of the Merrow family, with diversified manufacturing interests and headquarters on the six-acre Merrow campus in downtown Fall River, MA. Merrow’s major divisions include Manufacturing, Brands, Medical and Wholesale Parts and Equipment. Today, the Merrow Manufacturing division is known for developing and building apparel, gear and instrumented soft goods. Merrow was awarded manufacturer of the year in the State of MA in 2017 and 2018, the MassINC Gateway City Innovation Award in 2018, the 2017 Constellation Supernova award for technology innovation, and the 2019 Cornerstone Entrepreneur Award from Bristol Community College. Merrow is one of the fastest growing companies in Massachusetts. Most recently Merrow was recognized by Forbes, the WSJ, the State of MA and RI for leadership and investment in the medical supply chain. Learn more at www.merrowmfg.com.
About Precision Fabrics Group
Precision Fabrics Group was created in 1988 in a leveraged buyout from Burlington Industries and continues today as a privately-held company. The Company has evolved from a traditional textile manufacturer into an engineered materials business, focused on highly technical, high-quality woven and nonwoven materials. PFG currently employs approximately 600 associates and operates plants in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. PFG Corporate headquarters are located in Greensboro, NC. PFG’s Vinton, VA plant specializes in weaving some of the most technically challenging continuous-filament fabrics in the world. Our Greensboro and Madison, TN facilities are world-class in the range of nonwoven products produced. For more information, visit www.precisionfabrics.com.