China-based dermatologists provide precautionary measures amid COVID-19

In the midst of the pandemic, a group of dermatologists from West China Hospital of Sichuan University treated their patients. Taking some serious precautions, Yusha Chen, MD at the department of dermatology at West China Hospital of Sichuan University has reportedly stated that the very first step was that the number of dermatology clinics was cut in half. Telemedicine visits were queued as a more feasible option, and patients who had appointments that could be postponed were asked to do so.

Temperature check: People entering the outpatient and inpatient buildings should wear masks and their body temperature should be monitored by professionals wearing tight protective clothing.

Travel history: Anyone with a fever, travel history to Wuhan in the last two weeks, clear contact with residents in Wuhan in the last two weeks or contact with people with fever were to be directly sent to the fever clinic for screening.

Masks: Patients are not allowed to take off their masks except on indications of facial lesions. Sighting doctors’ health at heart, they must wear masks, surgical caps, protective suits, gloves and goggles at work. They should take off their protective equipment only after their work in a designated disposable area.

Vaccination: Dirk M Elston, MD, has reportedly pointed out that patients with varicella, measles and other viral exanthems present to the dermatologist and may pose a risk to patients and office staff. For which employees should be given all appropriate vaccinations, and testing should be done for employees to determine their immune status. According to Elston, a negative pressure isolation room should be available for patients with respiratory pathogens and that furlough policies should be in place for patients who have had exposure to various infectious vectors.

Infection control policies: Large health clinics have these policies in place as against a private practice dermatologist. It is highly recommended to review policies to ensure optimum safety in case an infected patient enters the clinic.