Why surgeons don’t want to operate right now - 20 Bloomberg
By: Therese Raphael
- To date, 24 Italian doctors died of covid19 which indicates doctors in frontline are vulnerable for severe cases of covid19
- Sourcing of personal protective equipment (ppe) is not the only problem. In addition; the absence of frequent testing increases the chances of doctors falling ill. Third; doctors, when exposed, have increased chance of severe covid19.
- Extra distribution of PPE is not the solution, especially for surgery where normal PPE does not suffice. The OR is can be seen as “viral labs in a wind tunnel.”
- Why is the OR extra contaminated?
- Virus spreads via aerosols → intubation
- Also spreads via blood and other body fluids which frequently get exposed during surgery
- Virus particles can linger outside the patient on metal, plastic etc.
- Constant ventilation in the OR blows aerosols around and contaminating all OR surfaces (including ceiling) which is impossible to properly clean
- Proper protocols for surgical PPE do not exist, full hazmat might be best but availability is limited.
- Viral load in OR might be high
- In Italy positive patients were operated on using normal surgical masks since others were unavailable leading to an unsafe doctor environment and therewith imposing big problems on the healthcare system.