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Newsletter February 2021: A new reality in out-of-O.R. sedation

Liliana Suárez

Anaesthesiologist, Scientific Director, HYPNOS Sedaciones. Bogotá, Colombia.

lilisuareza@gmail.com

 

Today’s society has never faced a situation like the current crisis: a pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 2) and its disease COVID-19; which has led to drastic changes in lifestyle regardless of academic, cultural, racial, religious, political or economic considerations.

Each country in the world has had to implement different policies to try to meet the requirements that the disease demands and to be able to offer the opportunity for all the sick to have access to health, and all these policies have significantly impacted the activity of anaesthesiologists; the main one has included the elimination of non-essential surgeries and other procedures, the shift of efforts from perioperative to critical care services, and planning for a “new reality” after the first wave of the pandemic (1).

This “new reality” in the exercise of out-of-operating anaesthesia specifically in procedures under sedation has involved an increase in standard management recommendations such as hand washing and additionally the use of personal protective equipment (PPEs) as barrier devices against COVID-19.

This dynamic concept that the global anaesthesia community will need to adopt from now on will create a new reality that will affect the individual, family, collective, social, and economic life, and create a new occupational environment for anaesthetists (2).

All these changes translate into the development of new protocols of patient management to continue offering safe sedation, taking into account that health personnel, the patient and their family should be protected, and not forgetting the constant need of the population to have outpatient procedures in the different areas of health (adult and paediatric dentistry, adult and pediatric gastroenterology, gynaecology, urology, aesthetic medicine, diagnostic imaging, etc.).

It is worth highlighting the importance of classifying the population in the pandemic period by COVID-19, according to the risk survey that is carried out on the patient at the time of scheduling the procedure, in order to identify whether the procedure can be performed and the level of exposure risk that health personnel have. Taking into account this new panorama to which the disease exposes us, where we are all considered potential transmitters, one of the most important factors is PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for the health personnel performing the procedure, the patient and the patient’s companion after sedation, including the administrative and general service staff of each practice (3).

We are considered a speciality of leadership, and in this moment of history, we are required to work as a team more than ever, so that with the proper application of each of the protocols that each institution handles according to the best current evidence and the government standards of each country we can safely offer all patients’ compliance with the “should be” in sedation procedures outside the operating room.

 

References

  1. Miller, T. R., & Radcliff, T.A. (2020). . Anesthesia and analgesia, 131(1), 112–116. https://doi.org/10.1213/ANE.0000000000004882..
  2. Calabrese, G. Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology 2020;48:105 doi: 10.1097/CJ9.000000000000000175.
  3. Suárez Aguilar L. Colombian Journal of Anesthesiology. 2020;48:e929.

 

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