Protection Of Private Practitioners In The Pandemic
World Health Organization did announce COVID-19 as a pandemic, which is a known fact. The government, healthcare professionals & researchers do their best in delivering the healthcare services during this time of challenge. Equal efforts are being applied for locating out the ways of prevention, remedy & arresting the further spread.
It is most unfortunate that the front-line warrior fighting to beat the disease gets infected himself/herself and loses battle and succumbs to infection. During this pandemic, government can administrate but the sole people that can control it or bring an end thereto are the doctors. So, it’s considerably necessary for us to guard ourselves.
Let us first mention few factors which make doctors more susceptible to COVID-19 Infection:
- Doctors are in direct contact with the infected person while checking the patient in his/her clinic.
- The longer he spends with the patient more is the viral load and more are going to be the prospect of the infection.
- Most of the family physicians have small clinics or establishments and social distancing is difficult to take care of at the busy hours and hence more susceptible to infection.
- At least 2-3 relatives accompany a patient, and that they all crowd around a doctor and hence social distancing is not possible-plus all of them either don’t wear a mask while talking, or mask doesn’t properly cover their mouth and nose. So, chances of getting infection increases.
- It had been found that family physicians and pediatricians got infected more and their mortality was also high. This is often because children take up infection faster and that they have 100 times more viral load in them than an adult. Since children a r e asymptomatic, their doctors get infected unknowingly.
Dr. Mona Desai
- During Surgeries, aerosol infections are most dangerous and carry very heavy viral load.
- Immunity low in doctors because of irregular eating and sleeping habits and heavy work load with lack of proper exercise.
So, following are few precautions to be taken by our fraternity to avoid or decrease the danger of getting infected during this pandemic:
Primary Desk of Hospitals/Reception
- Protect working people in reception areas.
- Use of a face mask while performing on reception.
- Educate them with importance and ways for infection control, prevention and inquiry techniques.
Out Patient Department (OPD) Guidelines
- Preferably, only one person should be allowed with each patient to OPD.
- Minimize visiting persons to OPD area.
- Visitors should look out of hand hygiene and will use personal protective equipment like facemask.
- Social distancing, hand hygiene and private protective measures should be followed in OPDs.
- Assign staff as a primary contact to deal & channelize the visiting people.
In-Patient Department (IPD) & Hospital Staff Guidelines
- Hospital staff should regularly be informed about information about the pandemic.
- Staff should frequently monitor admitted patients and visitors for occurrence of any symptoms.
- Hospital Staff should be strict with Infection Control Protocols in all areas of the hospital.
- The equipment which can be contaminated should undergo sterilization or cleaning as per the guidelines before reuse in other patients.
- Hand hygiene and private protective measures should be followed in admitted patients & serving staff.
- Hospitals should restrict visits of non-essential visitors apart from certain situations.
- Visitors must be 18+ years old. No oldster (65+) shall be allowed as visitor.
- The number of guests per patient should be limited and additional restrictions could also be imposed according to clinical status of the patient.
- Visitors for counseling should have separate access to the counseling rooms/places & strict infection control protocol should be followed.
- Visits by the children should be strictly supervised by an adult.
- Proper protection gears should be worn-like mask, shield /goggles, gown or PPE overalls and gloves before checking the patients.
- Keep frequent use of hand sanitizer and do not touch the face.
- Do not let patients overcrowd around you, ask them to take care of social distancing and strict use of masks once they are in your clinic.
- Regularize your life – regular food habits, regular sleeping habits and daily exercise.
- Do not over burden yourself with work – you’re not the sole ‘life saver’ on this earth.
- Follow strictly the protocols while treating a patient-thinking it’s suspected case of COVID.
- Get yourself investigated and treated with the primary symptom – DO NOT BE CARELESS about your Health.
These are the few tips which would directly or indirectly protect you from infection in this pandemic.
A Doctor has to save his life because:
“MEDICINES CURE DISEASES,
BUT ONLY DOCTORS CAN CURE PATIENTS.”