25 March 2020:
Why surgeons who continue to operate in Covid19 pandemic run the risk of killing themselves and their families!
Prof Alister Hart is a very renowned & reputed professor of Orthopaedic surgery in the world, completely devoted to the profession. He has come up with a landmark paper, about to be published in Lancet, that OR are Covid 19 wind tunnels. 80% of pts with Covid 19 have mild symptoms or asymptomatic. Then there are false negative tests!
So assume every patient you operate as Covid 19 positive, unless proved otherwise, just like AIDS epidemic! In a typical surgery like Orthopaedic surgery, there will be use of drills, burr, hammer etc which can splash blood & virus on to the ceiling and other metal and plastic surface. The virus stays for 72 hrs on metal and plastic and 24 hrs on cardboard! Now another surgery happening 2 days later in the same OT, the virons on the ceiling, will get sucked by the exhaust fan and blown into the OT as an aerosol by HEPA filter/Ventilation system!
The viral load here is many times more than when you touch a fomite like a lift button and touch your eyes!
This is a killer due to cytokine storm!
That’s why Europe ie Italy and Spain are seeing 10% -12.5% of their total deaths in doctors, being killed by the virus irrespective of their age group!
It’s the viral load which is more important, not age, as big viral load leads to cytokine storm in the lungs of the doctors & paramedical staff and kill them!
A French lawyer has sued French government for death of a doctor, due to Covid 19, as 3 months lead period from Wuhan, was wasted by a reactive Western governments like France, Italy, Spain, and even India! The less said about our legal system in the developing countries!
The basic mask doesn’t protect you. You need a Hazmat suite, used in China, which is in short supply in the world & which kept Chinese health care worker infection at less than 3% than 10% as seen in Europe now!
My advice is ’Be sensible, protect yourself and your staff and patients’!
Dr. Srikanth with Prof Alister Hart (Right) at Royal National Orthopaedic hospital, London last year.