Coronavirus is a matter of public health concern in India and also across the world. The virus has instilled fear in patients who need to visit the hospital for regular check ups. Among others, the it has majorly affected patients requiring elective surgeries, such as coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or valve repair/replacement, who have delayed the process as they fear getting infected with coronavirus. But, doing so can be life-threatening for the patients and they may also develop complications while on wait-list for surgery, said Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, cardio-thoracic surgeon, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre.
If you have been advised to undergo elective cardiac surgery then speak to your doctor, and after taking appropriate COVID 19 precautions, you can undergo open heart surgery safely, he said
While the respiratory infection killed tens of thousands in the United States during the first few months, it also left a lesser-known toll: thousands of more deaths than would have been expected from heart disease and a handful of other medical conditions, according to an analysis of federal data by The Washington Post. The analysis suggests that in five hard-hit states and New York City, there were 8,300 more deaths from heart problems than would have been typical in March, April and May, an increase of roughly 27 percent over historical averages. The review suggests that many patients suffering from serious conditions lost their lives as a result of delaying or not seeking care as the outbreak progressed and swamped some hospitals. The danger of not getting care is greater than the danger of getting exposed to the virus, said Dr Bhamre.
Many hospitals have started doing elective surgeries, giving priority to the health of the patients. “We have started operating with three to four surgeries per week with all the necessary precautions. We want to give a message to people waiting for heart surgery depending on the severity of their disease that the surgery should be carried out under most covid19 care protocols,” asserted Dr Bhamre.
Here are some precautions being taken, mentioned Dr Bhamre
*Patients and visitors must use masks/cloth barriers for themselves.
*Ensure that all healthcare workers who are interacting with patients use masks in hospitals.
*Hand sanitisers must be offered to all the patients and their attendees’ entering the hospital. All should be made to follow social distancing.
*Regular cleaning and disinfection of all the high touch areas is mandatory. Ensure all medical equipment used is regularly disinfected. All the medical staff attending to patients must wear personal protective equipment.
With due precautions the chances of getting infection during elective heart surgery is less than the risk if you don’t undergo your heart surgery, said the expert.