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Tampa General Hospital recycles sterile surgical wrap to make sleeping bags for the homeless

The unique sleeping bags are warm, waterproof
surgical wrap turned into sleeping bags
Posted at 4:50 AM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 09:23:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Nurses at Tampa General Hospital have discovered a unique way to help the Tampa Bay area’s homeless population.

Sterile surgical wrap used to protect operating room instruments is normally discarded.

Now it’s being recycled — and sewn together — for a very special purpose.

Sleeping bags.

surgical wrap turned into sleeping bags

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“The beauty of this material is that it conserves heat and it’s waterproof,” says nurse anesthetist Nicole Hubbard, who first heard about the sleeping bag idea on social media.

RN Karley Wright sent out an email to fellow hospital employees asking for help with sewing the bags.

The response, she says, was “overwhelming.”

So far employees at Tampa General have helped make about 100 sterile wrap sleeping bags to be dispersed to area homeless.

But they’re just getting started.

For more information on how to help with the sleeping bag project, contact Tampa General Hospital’s volunteer office at