SOP to deal with COVID-19 patients

The waiting areas and OPDs have to be sanitised every two hours

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Hospital
Picture: Pixabay

CUTTACK: Almost six weeks after the coronavirus pandemic brought India to a standstill and left frontline health workers greatly vulnerable, SCB Medical College and Hospital, Odisha’s premier government healthcare institution at Cuttack, finally put together a standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with suspected Covid-19 patients.

Isolation ward of SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack.
Isolation ward of SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack.

The MCH issued a detailed set of guidelines on how suspect cases have to be managed at various stages in the hospital. Patients with travel history and symptoms or severe acute respiratory illness / influenza like illness with fever, cough and breathlessness will have to be segregated at registration counter by the OPD staff itself, says the SOP. Their consultation will be carried out a separate room to minimise exposure and subsequently referred to Covid OPD for exclusion. 

In the waiting area of patients in OPDs, social distancing of 6 feet has to be ensured by the security and attendants whereas patients having emergency and requiring intervention would be admitted to designated isolated beds which would have to be created by HoDs in the respective wards.  The waiting areas and OPDs have to be sanitised every two hours. Consultation of one patient only at one time by maintaining social distancing norm, hand washing and sanitisation by wearing mask before and after examination of the patient.  

A supervisor will be in charge of ensuring implementation of above arrangements in OPD area. Similarly, minor procedures like dressings, catheterizations, removal of stitches etc on Covid-19 suspected patients must adhere to precautionary measures by healthcare workers. At the casualty, health care workers will note travel history, occupation, contact and cluster and inform doctors on duty. Only patients and an accompanying person will be allowed.

Also read: Use rapid test kits only for surveillance: ICMR

Any suspicious condition will necessitate the patient to be examined in the isolation bed with PPE by healthcare workers. The hospital authorities have decided to designate two operation theaters at trauma care unit for such emergency surgical intervention in highly suspicious patients. If a patient tests positive for Covid-19, he will be shifted to Covid hospital and the doctors, paramedics and other health care workers involved in the treatment will have to go into quarantine as per Government guidelines. Under no circumstances, swabs should be collected in the wards which do not have facility for isolation space, stated the SOP released by the hospital.