Orthopaedic Practices and Surgeries during COVID-19 in Pakistan - A Survey Based Study
Introduction: The study aimed to target the current practices of the orthopaedic community in outpatient (OPD), emergency (ER) and surgical services (OT) during COVID-19.
Materials and Methods: This study surveyed 303 orthopaedic surgeons from all over Pakistan. The survey had 30 questions targeting the setup of outpatient, emergency and operation services in orthopaedic departments of different hospitals in Pakistan.
Results: A total of 302 surgeons were included from 53 cities all over Pakistan. Between 35-48% of the respondents reported lack of availability of standard operating procedures in OPD, ER and in OT. Majority of the respondents noted that their OPD and surgical practice had been affected to some degree and 69% of the surgeons were only doing trauma surgery. This trend was higher in younger consultants of less than 45 years of age (P<0.001). Almost two-third of the surgeons, mostly senior (p=0.03) were using surgical masks as the only protective measure during various practices of OPD, ER and OT, while most of the setups were not assessing patients even for signs and symptoms of COVID. Almost 89% of the orthopaedic community is facing definite to mild stress during this pandemic and this has significantly affected the senior surgeons (p=0.01).
Conclusion: Our study highlighted that COVID-19 has resulted in marked changes to the practices of the majority of Pakistani orthopaedic surgeons. Despite a sharp upsurge in the number of cases and mortality due to COVID-19, guidelines were still lacking at most of the settings and a substantial percentage of the orthopaedic community were not following adequate safety measures while attending to patients.
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