CORONA VIRUS PRECAUTIONS FOR HOSPITAL STAFF
Precautions for hospital staff during coronavirus pandemic:
- No belts (not possible to clean them effectively).
- No wallets (not possible to clean them effectively).
- No cash/coins - only contactless bank cards (to avoid contact infection).
- Use mobile phone as less often as possible (especially during ward rounds).
- Place the pen, stethoscope, and hospital notes if any in a plastic resealable bag before going home at the end of the shift, after cleaning them with alcohol 70%. Try to leave them in the hospital if possible.
- Fold sleeves up to elbows in the hospital to prevent cross-infection.
- Just before leaving the ward clean hands from the elbow below, with soap and water, and try not to touch any surfaces until you leave the main hospital gate.
- While going to the hospital use some cheap or old shoes if possible and throw them away when the pandemic is over.
- Each time after examining a patient clean stethoscope with 70% alcohol.
- Use a stethoscope only if it changes the diagnosis or treatment.
- Don’t routinely examine patients.
- Stand 1-2 Meters away from patients during ward rounds.
- During an examination or while taking blood samples or any intervention, when getting close to the patient – use the best possible PPE (FF2 mask at least or surgical mask + full-face visor, both with full sleeve apron)and also ask the patient to turn his face away from you. Also, use a tissue to cover his mouth and nose or let him use a face mask.
- At least once before leaving the ward and going home clean mobile phone with 70% alcohol.
- At the end of the shift before going home clean spectacles with 70% alcohol(be careful as it may leave stains on glasses).
- Keep frequently cleaning the computer keyboard and also the mouse with 70% alcohol as so many people use them.
- Leave shoes at the main doors as soon as entering the home. Don’t go inside the house with the hospital shoes. Then wash your hands with soap and water after that go into your room, and immediately change the dress.
- Maintain some distance even at home with other family members as much as possible.
- Frequently take showers and change your dress more frequently.
- Throughout this Covid period use a separate towel, plate, and glass at home.
- Try to maintain strict social distancing from all the elderly people at home as they are at a very high risk of death if they contract the infection.
- Stay at home and inform the hospital authorities as soon as any suspected symptoms develop.
- Try to quit smoking as the local lung immunity is less in current smokers and the risk of contracting an infection while holding a cigarette.
- The strict control of diabetes as poor control carries a higher risk of death due to the infection.
- Better buy PPE yourself to save your life if it is not provided by the hospital.
- Shaving is really important as FFP masks do not completely protect as the proper facial seal cannot be achieved.
By DR SHALABH GUPTA Nodal Officer COVID Training, Prof Head Dept of General Surgery.