Updated – 17:45 26th March 2020
With all the information on the news and social media about the COVID-19 precautions, we’ve kept ourselves quiet to reduce the noise and clutter. It’s hard enough keeping up to date without repetitive information.
What we are going to talk about are the steps we are taking in our clinic to reduce the risks of transmitting the infection, our social distancing strategy, and the current known and unknown risks to pregnant women. We’ll also provide some information about hospital access and visitor restrictions.
‘Social Distancing’ is the term used to describe limiting unnecessary interactions between people. This slows down transmission. This is particular important for healthcare workers who will need to continue to interact with many people over this period, often in close proximity. Reducing the episodes of close proximity between people is essential in containing the threat.
Social distancing includes maintaining a minimum distance unless necessary of 1.5m, and also reducing interactions. We can’t stress how important it is that everyone that visits or works in our practice is safe. If Dr Elgey becomes unwell then our practice will need to close until it is safe to return and this will impact many women who rely on him. Limiting our exposure to as few people as possible will increase the likelihood that your Doctor will be available to you.
Our current management plan involves closing our waiting/reception room to limit your being in close proximity to other patients. This is how we will implement this by encouraging you:
Trying to keep consultations to less than 15 minutes and not having unnecessary people in the room is important
We may be able to arrange telephone consultations where appropriate. Most antenatal visits require assessment of baby’s heart rate, size and your blood pressure so we can’t always do these. Medicare may pay for some of these and reception can advise you.
Current evidence seems to indicate that pregnant women are not at increased risk of hospitalisation or worse outcomes than similar women. The virus may pass form mother to baby, but we still don’t know if it affects the babies. It’s reassuring that no children less than 9 years have died from this infection. Our general advice for women who may be pregnant is to continue to do what you normally do and follow the precautions issued by the public health units.
Having the Influenza vaccine is of utmost importance this year as the health system may not be able to cope. Our article on Influenza and pregnancy explains more.
More advice in the form of a factsheet from our Specialty College is available here
Sunnybank Private Hospital is not equipped or intended to manage people with coronavirus as it does not have the capacity to do so. This means that it is a low risk facility for transmission of this disease. It is anticipated that the hospital may be asked to manage patients unable to be seen in the local Qld Health facilities due to bed or theatre shortages, and provide urgent surgery. The hospital has implemented the following policies;
Information is rapidly changing. On 25th March the Federal Health Minister advised that all non-urgent procedures be suspended. This includes all IVF technologies of stimulated cycles, frozen embryo transfers and intrauterine insemination.
Women who were in-cycle on the 25th March (as in Day 1 that day or before) are allowed to proceed. All others should not commnece their cycle. We will be contacting our patients once the situation is clearer.