COVID Challenge and elective Orthopedics Surgeries

Should we keep doing elective surgeries in this difficult times of COVID 19spread. Here is an insight. Prof Alister Hart is a very reputed professor of Orthopaedic surgery in the world, completely devoted to the profession. He has come up with a landmark paper, about to be published in Lancet, that OT are Covid 19 wind tunnels. 80% of pts with Covid 19 have mild symptoms or asymptomatic. Then there are false negative tests! So assume every patient you operate as Covid 19 positive, unless proved otherwise! In a typical surgery like Orthopaedic surgery, there will be use of drills, burr, hammer etc which can splash virus on to the ceiling and other metal and plastic surface. The virus stays for 72 hrs on metal and plastic and 24 hrs on cardboard! Now another surgery happens 2 days later in the same OT, the virons on the ceiling will get sucked by the exhaust fan and blown into the OT as an aerosol by HEPA filter/Ventilation system! The viral load here is many times more than when you touch a fomite like a lift button and touch your eyes! This is a killer due to cytokine storm! That’s why Europe ie Italy and Spain are seeing 10% -12.5% of their total deaths in doctors, being killed by the virus irrespective of their age group! It’s the viral load which is more important, not age, as big viral load leads to cytokine storm in the lungs of the doctors & paramedical staff and kill them! Be sensible, protect your self!

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