Diaper suggestion from TN Dept of Health leads local doctor to telemedicine


NASHVILLE, Tenn.(WKRN) – A Tennessee Department of Health webinar suggesting a diaper as an alternative protective device for COVID-19 has led a local doctor to see her patients by telemedicine.

A doctor in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood brought it up in a teleconference Thursday where she urged Tennessee Governor Bill Lee to issue a statewide stay-at-home policy.

“This is in the United States of America that I have been asked by the Tennessee Dept of Health to Velcro a diaper around my face because I don’t have a N-95 mask to see patients to do a flu swab,” said primary care physician Dr. Sonal Gupta during the teleconference.

A March 20th webinar for health care providers from the Tennessee Department of Health said “you may have to come up with some alternatives to surgical masks because they just have not been widely available, so you can get bandanas. I have seen reports in other countries of people using diapers. They have handy Velcro side tabs that can be sometimes stretched around the head.”

The question about if Tennessee health care providers are using such alternatives was asked Thursday of Governor Bill Lee.

“You know you hear about a lot about makeshift things happening, but there is not makeshift happening yet in our state because we have stayed ahead of the curve,” answered Governor Lee

Dr. Gupta says she has seen some use of bandanas by health care providers,
but adds that the idea of potentially using diapers as protective COVID-19 gear changed her practice by seeing several dozen patients by telemedicine.

As of late Friday afternoon, there have been no confirmed reports of Tennessee health care providers using diapers as a protective COVID-19 device.

Dr. Gupta has been among the now 25-thousand health care providers and other Tennesseans signing a petition urging governor lee to issue a statewide shelter in place order.

The order would exclude trips for essentials like food, gas or necessary medical attention.

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