“What If I’m Running Low on PPE?”
By David Doolittle


One of the biggest challenges physicians have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping themselves, their staff, and their patients safe while still providing the best possible care. 

Unfortunately, demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) is exceeding supply because of an extreme surge in patients at health care facilities. 

The concern is so great that the Texas Medical Association and other state and national medical societies have been increasing pressure on lawmakers to make PPE readily available. 

“Without sufficient equipment, health care workers will be exposed to and infected by the virus. This is more than a personally tragic consequence for these professionals who are dedicated to performing their duties despite the dangers. We absolutely cannot lose any of our health care workforce to infection in a time of record demand,” TMA President David C. Fleeger wrote in a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott on March 23. 

To help answer questions and address concerns you might have about Texas’ supply of PPE, the TMA COVID-19 Task Force has created a frequently asked questions (FAQ). 

The FAQ addresses topics such as conservation strategies; options if N95 masks are unavailable; whether you should use homemade masks; and whether surgical masks, gloves, and gowns should be reused or used for more than one procedure. 

The FAQ is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

Remember, you can find the latest news, resources, and government guidance on the coronavirus outbreak by visiting TMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center regularly.

Last Updated On

March 27, 2020

Originally Published On

March 27, 2020

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David Doolittle


(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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