What IBJI Patients Need to Know About Surgery During the COVID Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a very challenging time for ALL IBJI patients and physicians. With the President’s National Emergency Declaration followed by our Governor’s ‘Stay at Home’ order for Illinois non-essential workers – the state and IBJI changed dramatically and quickly. For the past 2 months all elective orthopedic surgeries have been suspended at our area hospitals to permit preservation of resources needed to care of acutely ill COVID-19 patients.
As the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions has begun to fall, the Governor has announced that elective orthopedic surgeries can resume at hospitals and surgery-centers. This return to surgery will also be challenging as there are now many patients that have been waiting more than 2 months for their elective surgeries and many more seen in IBJI offices during the past 2 months that now need surgery.
In addition, the COVID-19 virus remains in our community and additional safety measures are needed to care for surgical patients to screen before surgery and protect following surgery, so they do not become ill with the COVID-19 virus during their recovery.
IBJI is committed to your safety and recommends the following:
- ALL IBJI elective surgery patients should take every measure to remain COVID-19 exposure free for 14 days prior to you planned surgery – follow 10 THINGS WE ALL MUST DO!
- If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms (Temperature greater than 100.4 Degrees, new Dry Cough, Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath, Fatigue, Loss of Taste or Smell)
- ALL IBJI elective surgery patients should have a pre-operative COVID-19 test done within 72 hours of your scheduled surgery. You will be instructed by IBJI staff to have the COVID-19 test performed at the hospital where you will be having your surgery or at a Pre-Op Testing Center.
- If you are sent home awaiting surgery following testing, you should self-isolate at home until your surgery
- If your pre-op COVID-19 test is positive – your elective surgery will be cancelled and rescheduled once you have fully recovered
- For IBJI patients undergoing urgent or emergent surgery – such as deep lacerations, bad fractures, joint dislocations, etc. – you will have a COVID-19 test before surgery – but the surgery may need to proceed before the result is reported to prevent harm to you or adversely affect your outcome.
- If you COVID-19 test returns positive, your surgeon will discuss whether your surgery can be delayed or whether it is best to proceed with your surgery to avoid permanent harm or adverse outcome.
- At the hospital or surgery-center on the day of your surgery you will be screened carefully to determine if you have any COVID-19 symptoms and your temperature will be checked to ensure that you do not have a fever.
- You will be asked to sign a COVID surgical consent form acknowledging that you understand the risks of surgery during the COVID pandemic.
- At the hospital or surgery center you will be treated ‘Universal Prevention Precautions’. You and all staff will wear masks and all staff will wear gowns and gloves before, during and following your surgery to minimize viral disease transmission for you and the surgical staff.
- If you have any questions before or following your surgery or develop any COVID-19 symptoms following your surgery please reach out to your surgeon’s office and staff.
As this COVID-19 virus is new and very little information is known about what if any of its impact will be on surgical outcomes.