DHSK orders resumption of all surgeries in non-COVID hospitals

Amid COVID pandemic affecting patient care across Kashmir, the directorate of health services has ordered resumption of all surgeries in non-COVID hospitals. 

Sources informed that in the hospitals there was a huge volume of pending elective surgeries which could not be conducted due to pandemic. Presently, the non-COVID hospitals mainly conduct the emergency surgeries.

An order issued by DHSK said: “All chief medical officers, medical superintendents and block medical officers of Kashmir division shall ensure conducting of surgeries in all the non-covid hospitals of Kashmir division under their jurisdiction with immediate effect.

“All the standard operating procedures and protocols shall be adopted during the course of conducting surgeries or meeting emergencies of any nature in non-COVID hospitals.”

An official informed that all the surgeries will be conducted after the patients test negative for the COVID. “This time only emergency surgeries are being conducted as the government earlier had ordered suspension of elective surgeries across all the hospitals in Kashmir division.”

Sources in the health department informed that the decision to resume conducting of surgeries in non-COVID hospitals was taken after assessing the reports coming from the district hospitals as well as tertiary care institutions where the non-COVID patient care has been badly impacted since March.

“A proportionately large number of patients is finding it unbearable to afford private surgical treatment as such, in the interest of patient care and for the benefit of our society, semi-urgent surgeries in the government sector should be started in the first phase under proper scientific precautions and constant monitoring,” a senior medico said.

He added that measures like mandatory COVID-19 diagnostic testing of the surgical patient, adherence to social distancing, restricting attendant visit to hospitals and wearing of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) by hospital/theatre staff should be followed in letter and spirit.

Medicos said that all those surgeries which were previously elective are now turning into semi-emergencies and emergencies. “We have seen a lot of patients of cholelithiasis (gallstones) who, under normal circumstances were supposed to undergo elective laparoscopic surgery presenting to hospitals as cases of pancreatitis, cholangitis, obstructive jaundice and sepsis.”

 “There is a disturbing observation wherein more and more patients with gallstones are getting admitted to hospitals with acute cholecystitis (inflammation of gallbladder), mucocele (mucus in gallbladder), pyocele (pus in gallbladder) and acute cholangitis-all potentially serious complications. Nowadays, most patients with acute appendicitis are being managed conservatively and this lands some of them into complications like perforation, complicated appendicular lump formation among others, which is a bad clinical end-point”, they added.