The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly become a health threat worldwide and has been declared global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Possible transmission routes, including respiratory droplets, close contact, and aerosol propagation, have put plastic and reconstructive healthcare professionals at high risk, especially during surgical procedures. The aim of this study was to summarize and share our experience of infection control measures and corresponding outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Infection control measures, including workflow optimization, useful epidemiologic survey methods, and personal full protective clothing, were discussed. Characteristics and outcomes of emergency cases and elective cases under local and general anesthesia during the COVID-19 pandemic were summarized.
A hierarchy of interventions were applied mainly from 4 aspects. First, administration control and online consultation significantly decreased patient attendance. Second, a triage workflow was established to identify high-/low-risk patients, with clinical manifestations (fever, fatigue, cough, nasal discharge, etc), epidemiologic survey, blood test, chest computed tomographic scan, and coronavirus test if necessary. Third, strict environmental control was adopted using increasing ventilation, isolated room for inpatients, etc. Fourth, proper rotation of healthcare staff was ensured to reduce workload and minimize possible contact. A total of 904 emergency interventions, 2561 local anesthesia, and 570 general anesthesia were performed during this period, and none of the cases/healthcare professionals were found to be infected.
Our experience could help global plastic and reconstructive healthcare professionals to get better preparation and continue to give qualified medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proper adjustments should be taken according to their own clinical settings.