Is it Safe to Have Surgery During the Pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to stir concerns and apprehensions about having surgery during this time.
It is important to know that the decision to suspend elective or “nonessential” surgery ordered by Governor DeSantis in March was to allow healthcare facilities focus on treating patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, and to prevent overloading of hospitals. In addition, it was also done to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) as the number of infections increased.
Now that healthcare facilities here in South Florida have resumed elective surgeries, many patients want to know how safe it is to have a surgical procedure. So, it is important to know and understand the additional precautions that surgical facilities, along with the surgical teams, are taking to ensure patients a safe setting for your operation.
Considering Foot or Ankle Surgery
Long before there was a pandemic, minimizing infection risk has been a primary objective for any surgical procedure. Where do you think the improved hand-washing game many of us have adopted came from, after all?
As part of their training, surgeons are taught to hand scrub anatomically from 3-5 minutes (pending on what antiseptic soap used) in order to remove and destroy any micro-organisms, including bacteria and viruses. This is done in order to prevent any surgical site infections (SSIs).
However, precautions have been further enhanced and adapted to fit the needs of the patient and the facility staff during the pandemic.
The following is a summary of how Aventura Hospital and Surgery Center of Aventura in Miami have implemented some of the COVID-19-specific safety measures, ensuring that we stay focused on the care and improvement of our patients.
- Infection Prevention. All patients, employees, surgeons, and contractors are screened prior to entering the surgical facility and provided with the appropriate level of protection, including masks (which are always required). Staff and surgeons adhere to strict standard precautions of PPE, including the use of N95 masks.
- Environmental Cleaning. Measures are also taken to ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfectant procedures are carried out consistently and correctly using EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectants.
- Social Distancing. Six feet or more of spacing is applied in the preoperative area and post-operative care areas where possible.
- Pre-Operative Screening. A pre-operative screening assessment is carried out over phone to determine the risk for the patient being scheduled for surgery. If for any reason the identified as positive risk factors, the surgeon is contacted, and CDC guidelines and recommendations are implemented.
- Limiting Visitors. We continue to follow state requirements to limit visitors to only individuals necessary to the patient’s care. A variety of technologies are available to assist patients and physicians in communicating during surgery and during their time at the surgery center.
- Access Control. For your safety, surgical patients will enter the surgery center through an entrance where screening and temperature checks will be performed. Helpful pre-surgical information outlining testing, entrances, visitor guidelines and other information will be provided to your office to share with patients.
Here at OMG, we want our patients to be well informed and feel comfortable throughout the surgical process, to ensure that they receive the care needed today for a healthier tomorrow. So if you have any questions or concerns, especially during these times, please do not hesitate to ask us.
In addition, we continue to provide valet medicine appointments for less complex procedures and telemedicine appointments.
As always, it is our priority to provide “Results that Keep Your Feet in Step for Better Health.” To read more about the precautions we are taking at OMG please click here.
Please call us at (305) 514-0404 to schedule an in-office or telemedicine appointment. If you prefer to reach out to us electronically instead, fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will respond to you during standard office hours.