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Volunteers Sew Up Surgical Caps for Driscoll Children’s Hospital

Five-year-old Driscoll patient Everleigh chose a cap with her favorite toy, Shopkins, stamped on the fabric. The caps, which are worn by kids going into surgery, are made by volunteers. You can be one of them! Courtesy photo

Coastal Bend volunteers help make trips to the operating room for young patients at Driscoll Children’s Hospital a little less cold and intimidating with hand made surgical caps. Kids can chose from a range of custom designs, including those with favorite characters, before being whisked into surgery.

“The surgical caps are a very nice personal touch for our patients,” said Driscoll Children’s Hospital Pediatric Plastic Surgeon Kevin S. Hopkins, MD. “I think they really appreciate getting something made especially for them, and the fun designs help them to just be kids rather than patients.”

Volunteers supply at least 1,300 caps every three-months for the 600 or so surgeries performed monthly. The idea came from Auxiliary to Driscoll Children’s Hospital member Beverly Frontera who saw an ad on social media for children’s surgical caps. She approached Driscoll’s Volunteer Services Department about initiating the program.

“I’ve always had a passion for sewing and I thought this would be great for our kids,” Frontera said. “If it can put a smile on their face during a tough time, that’s a good thing.”

Frontera enlisted her Coastal Bend sewing group to help stitch up caps. Patients can choose the design they like best and can take it home with them when they leave.

“The caps help normalize the hospital environment for patients because they look like the nurses and physicians who will take care of them in the operating room,” said Child Life Specialist Megan Davila.

Anyone can get involved by making the caps and donating them to the hospital. For more information call the Volunteer Services Department at Driscoll Children’s Hospital at (361) 694-5011.


· Use 100 percent cotton fabric in a fun pattern. The most popular patterns include Disney, sports, animals, super heroes, etc. Keep in mind that young children, pre-teens and teens will be wearing the caps.

· Cut one circle 18 ¾-inches in diameter. Make a ½-inch pocket around the edge, leaving an opening to insert the elastic. Cut a piece of elastic ¼-inch wide by 18 ½-inches long. Thread the elastic through the pocket opening and secure the ends together. Stitch the opening closed. This creates a bouffant cap.

· The fabric can be pre-washed or not — the caps will be washed by machines here at the hospital and sealed in bags before being used in the OR. If you do decide to pre-wash the fabric, it must be washed in perfume-free and dye-free detergent.

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