Operation theatre protocol for COVID-19 cases requiring orthopaedic surgery: A workflow without altering the existing infrastructure

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Introduction: The surge in the number of trauma cases following relaxation of lockdowns in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, has strained the existing infrastructure to cater to these patients and also prevent the spread of infection. Moreover, with the rise of newer strains, the period ahead has to be tread carefully to prevent resurgence of infections. There have been recommendations regarding the ideal setup to operate orthopaedic cases in this pandemic scenario. However, many of the hospitals in India with financial and logistic constraints are unable to implement these structural changes into their existing setup. We propose a model which can be used in an existing operation theatre which has a single entry and exit corridor, which is the layout in many hospitals. Methodology: A protocol with the consultation of a panel of health care professionals was designed on the basis of WHO guidelines in a way so as to remain dynamic. Prior to its implementation, online classes were conducted and a dry run of the protocol was done with the whole team involved. The theatre layout is one with a single entry and exit and had predesignated rooms. The personnel were divided into 3 teams, each with a fixed set of people and preset workflow, to be followed during entry and exit. Five COVID positive cases have been operated since then using the protocol and has been used as a pilot study to further amend the protocol. Conclusion: This model can be used as a guideline by hospitals having a limited infrastructure, to develop their own protocol to operate on COVID positive cases, in the present situation of increasing trauma cases post the relaxation of lockdown and also in any subsequent waves of infection with newer strains. Simulation and periodic stringent audits with the entire team would prove successful in rectifying errors and avoiding any possible contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Orthopaedics and Trauma
Publication statusPublished - 06-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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