Video: Austin Physician Using Homemade PPE
By David Doolittle

As physicians across the state struggle with a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, during the COVID-19 pandemic, one physician has turned to a homemade solution.

With PPE low at her Austin family and sports medicine practice, Robyn McCarty, MD, called on a friend and seamstress to sew masks for her and her staff. After researching the best way to protect against airborne viruses, her friend created more than 20 masks made of eight layers of cloth diapers and other fabrics, each with a pocket.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says homemade masks are not considered PPE and should be used only as a last resort, Dr. McCarty says the homemade masks offer some  peace of mind.

“I’m not pretending these are N95s. They’re stopgaps, they’re better than nothing,” Dr. McCarty said. “It’s not a matter of just taking care of the patients, it’s a matter of taking care of myself, taking care of my staff, and taking care of the community.”

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 30, 2020

Originally Published On

March 30, 2020

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David Doolittle


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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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