Global Health & Medicine 2022;4(6):332-335.
Infection control of COVID-19 in operating theaters in a designated hospital for specified infectious diseases in Japan
Yamada K, Hara T, Sato K, Koyama Y, Kato D, Nohara K, Enomoto N, Yagi S, Kitagawa D, Takemura N, Nagasaka S, Kiyomatsu T, Kokudo N
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, many hospitals around the world recommended stopping elective surgery as a precaution to stop the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The number of elective surgeries was reduced in Japan due to several waves of the pandemic. This work describes the management of COVID-19 and actual polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening in operating theaters at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM), a designated hospital for specified infectious diseases in Japan. The following three steps for COVID-19 infection control were taken to maintain the operating theater: i) Do not bring COVID-19 into the operating theater, ii) Infection control for all medical staff, and iii) Surgical management of surgical patients with COVID-19. We introduced checklists for surgical patients, simulations of surgery on infected patients, screening PCR tests for all surgical patients, and use of a negative pressure room for infective or suspected cases. We determined the flow and timing of surgery for patients with COVID-19. However, many aspects of COVID-19 infection control measures in the operating theater are still unclear. Therefore, infection control measures require further advances in the future to manage new infections.