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The One Time You Can Monkey Around in the ED

Reichman, Eric F. PhD, MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000719072.75451.26
    PPE, mask, COVID-19

    Wearing a mask is required as a part of personal protective equipment when managing patients in the emergency department. (CDC. Aug. 19, 2020;; OSHA.

    But staff complain when wearing a mask for an entire shift, especially when it has ear loops.

    The loops pull on the ears and cause skin irritation and ear pain. This can be easily eliminated with a plastic monkey from the game Barrel of Monkeys. Attaching the hands of the monkeys to the ear loops relieves ear pressure, and makes mask-wearing more comfortable by eliminating ear discomfort and pain.

    It is also cost-effective. One game, which costs about $5, contains 10 monkeys—50 cents per monkey. The monkeys can be reused many times, and they last months without changing shape. They can also be cleaned and washed with soap and water or placed in a dishwasher between uses.

    Dr. Reichmanis a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas at Houston Medical School and a voluntary attending physician at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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