The COVID-19 pandemic had put a burden on our health-care system, and front-line healthcare personnel are quickly shifting their roles to meet hospital demands. Surgeons had seen one of the most significant shifts in their professions, with the number of elective procedures quickly dropping in an effort to reduce the Corona virus transmission.
However, with the number of COVID cases now seeing a gradual decline in metro cities in India, people who had postponed elective procedures owing to the pandemic, particularly, are now pouring into hospitals, choosing not to postpone them any longer.
Taking the COVID scenario in Bangalore into account, a change in the behaviour of patients can be noticed. Hospitals are seeing high footfall of patients for Lasik surgeries, hernia treatment, gall bladder, bariatric surgery, and other benign illnesses. They are gradually losing their dread of contracting the virus.
But, according to Dr Hemendra Singh, neurosurgeon, M S Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, the delay in various elective surgeries have caused complications in the health of many patients thus increasing the severity of the conditions. This has also resulted in increase of burden for doctors and other health care workers as they are forced to deal with these conditions in their advanced stages.
“Doctors in the city have also come across increased number of cases where patients sought urgent medical attention for hernia after vomiting and experiencing extreme stomach discomfort,” Dr Singh adds.
Meanwhile, Dr Shashikiran BD, a Medfin expert and a consultant surgeon at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, quoted: “Given the circumstances, we must not only concentrate on the short-term objective of treating COVID-19 patients, but also those with non-COVID related chronic health problems.”
Following safety protocols is a must
In order to facilitate medical treatment for health problems, other than COVID, and carry out elective surgeries, maintaining safety protocols is a must. Talking about this, Dr Shashikiran said: “Every nook and corner of the hospitals are sanitized at regular intervals. Before the patient is brought in, the operating rooms are kept cold so that the procedure may be performed with little air conditioning.”
He also added that doctors expose themselves to the patient as little as possible. Spillage is also minimised to the greatest degree feasible.
Considering the containment of the virus, Bangalore hospitals are avoiding admissions for a long period of time. Walk-in patients, emergency surgeries, outpatient emergencies and day care procedures are the most common services provided. In case of elective surgeries, the patient is only kept for a brief period of time after the procedure.
COVID test before surgery
Hospitals are also committed to the safety of patients, faculty and staff. Care teams in hospitals ensure that patients have limited risk of exposure to COVID-19 during their stay.
Stressing on the need to avoid spread of COVID, Dr Shashikiran also quoted: “One way we limit your risk of exposure is by providing COVID-19 testing to all patients before a scheduled surgery, procedure or hospital admission. COVID-19 testing gives us important information to ensure we can keep you and all of our patients and staff safe.”
Teleconsultations are a need of the present
Teleconsultations have become an essential tool for mediating contact between medical practitioners and patients in basic health care. The effectiveness of doctor-patient communication is a critical element in improving treatment outcomes and patient satisfaction. To avoid the transmission of the virus, follow ups after various surgeries are also done with the help of teleconsultations.
“Tele-consultations are a safe and effective approach to examine health problems and assist the diagnosis and treatment of patients while reducing the danger of COVID transmission. Follow ups are also being done with the help of teleconsultations. Many critical clinical services can continue to operate on a regular and continuous basis as a result of these tele-consultations, both in preparation for and during a health emergency,” Dr Singh asserted.
The current pandemic has caused significant strain on medical centers resources. Because of this there is need to provide diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and follow-ups during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically and quickly altered how medical practitioners provide care to patients. Medical centers are now responding to COVID-19 through rapid adoption of digital tools and technologies such as telemedicine and virtual care.
While the fear of COVID transmission is still gripping the minds of people, many hospitals have developed safe sanitisation processes and safety measures that allow patients to be treated for non-emergency operations in a safe setting without further delaying their treatment.
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