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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 48-50

Ensuring safety from COVID-19 in arthroscopic surgery

Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjung Hospital and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC), New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Jaswant Kumar
Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjung Hospital and Vardhman Mahavir Medical College (VMMC), New Delhi 110029.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jbjd.jbjd_10_21

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In the current time of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, orthopedic procedures have been shelved and guidelines to establish the safety of medical professionals and patients are still evolving. Although sports injuries are not life threatening, a spectrum of these injuries requires urgent intervention. To ensure the safety of medical professionals and patients of sports injuries in COVID times, the following guidelines are suggested. Such surgery needs to be performed only in COVID-free facility (green zone). Patients from red zone and containment zone should be avoided. Young, fit individuals without medical comorbidities should be considered. Wherever possible, regional anesthesia should be used. As COVID virus is present in all body fluids, aerosol generation (coughing, sneezing, intubation, use of power instruments, and cautery) should be minimized. Operation theater (OT) should be fumigated on the prior night and ideally between the cases. The number of cases per OT should be kept under three to get adequate time in-between for sterilization. The ventilation setup of OT should be negative pressure in addition to positive pressure. If there are hindrances in setting up negative pressure, a simple exhaust can be added to the existing setup. The ventilation system should ideally provide more than 20 air changes per hour. During surgery, movement of doors of OT and OT personnel should be minimal so as to minimize the air turbulence and eddy current. This will reduce the risk of infection. Surgical team should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and helmet hood to reduce the chances of respiratory droplet infection. The doffing of helmet and PPE should be done with utmost care and should be discarded in a chloro-derivate solution. The motorized drill used for surgical procedure should be used at low revolution per minute (RPM). Usage of sterile transparent polythene hood while irrigating during drilling and sequential drilling will help in minimizing aerosol generation. Spillage of arthroscopic fluid should be avoided at all times. These basic norms will minimize the chance of accidental spread of COVID.

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