Managing COVID-19 in Surgical Systems - Ann Surg, in press
By: Bridle and Gawande, Boston USA
Learn from lessons of others around the world
- Prepare for a rapid evolving situation
- Postpone all elective surgery immediately, before it seems necessary
- Make a clear plan for essential operations
- Educate all surgical staff on personal protective equipment
- Decrease exposure of health care staff: As COVID-19 becomes further established in our communities, asymptomatic patients who are carriers will increasingly enter the health care system for unrelated ailments and pose a risk for transmission. Keeping surgical staff out of hospital and self-isolating at home when they are not needed is a key measure to preserving our human resources.
- Develop a dedicated COVID19 operating space: Designate a specific operating theater for all COVID-19 cases. This room should be out of high-traffic areas and be completely emptied of all non-essential materials. No unnecessary items should be brought into the operating theater, this includes personal items such as pagers or cell phones and pens. A runner should be dedicated to the Operating theater to provide all materials needed
- The changing landscape of the pandemic may require patient transfers and repurposing operating theaters to support critical care patients.