The World Health Organisation declared a COVID 19 pandemic on 11 March 2020. This has been a challenging time for health care and some elective services were paused. Now that we have moved out of the peak phase of this pandemic we have been advised that we can start elective surgery. We are not returning to a normal practice but are working within a new normal to ensure the safety of patients and staff.
It is important that you recognise that COVID 19 is associated with an increased risk to all patients. This risk is considerably higher for patients who become COVID-19 positive during the perioperative period. Patients that are infected with COVID 19 during the perioperative period may be more susceptible to respiratory complications due to the bodies’ response to the surgery and if mechanical ventilation is used. When compared to pre-COVID-19 the baseline rates of postoperative respiratory complications and death is significantly worse in patients with COVID-19 infection. Factors such as >65 years of age, any chronic lung condition, diabetes mellitus, morbid obesity, heart condition and immunosuppression puts you at greater risk if you develop COVID-19.
To mitigate this, risk strategies have been implemented to protect the hospital environment and staff to reduce your risk of a hospital acquired COVID-19 infection and you have been asked to follow the hospital guidelines; to selfisolate and to have a COVID 19 test prior to your surgery.
If you decide to postpone your surgery I can discuss conservative ways to help you.
Mr N Masucci FCPodS
Consultant Podiatric Surgeon