Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on Wednesday, released guidelines for safe Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) practice. Health officials said the guidelines are aimed at minimising the spread of the virus among ENT doctors, nursing staff, support staff, patients and their attendants.
This comes after a 61-year-old ENT surgeon contracted the virus while treating patients and succumbed to his illness on May 31. However, ENT specialists have welcomed this move stating that it was the need of the hour.
According to the guidelines, all patients entering the ENT OPD shall be thermal screened to minimise exposure to staff and patients. The ministry said that patients having symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, whether ENT or respiratory symptoms, should be seen in a separate COVID-19 screening clinic and not in the ENT OPD.
At the entry point of the OPD, it has been suggested to regulate the entry of patients and to ensure the use of mask, hand hygiene and social distancing. It also advised that tele-consultation will be preferable and prior tele-consultation can be done to identify patients requiring physical examination in a clinic.
Moreover, positive patients are to be operated only for emergency indications in designated operation theatres for COVID-19 patients.
“Suspected patients should be treated in a separate ward set up for patients, and should be shifted to the ENT ward only after being confirmed negative. It must be ensured that suspected and confirmed patients are kept separately,” read the guidelines.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)