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Stay Home, Stay Safe.
Social distancing really means social ISOLATION

Background

The COVID pandemic has been grossly underestimated by society. China with their massive infrastructure and lockdown are somewhat under control, Australia is on the Italian trajectory. The health system will be lucky to survive beyond 8th April, by then it is expected that ICU beds will be full, and the hospitals full of breathless people. That leaves little space for orthopaedics! Still we go on.

Hopefully, the vast majority of people are unaffected as long as possible. This gives us a chance. This graph indicates an area of “unmet need” in red. These people die. The requirement we have is “FLATTEN THE CURVE” and that means shutting down society for six weeks, maybe eight, maybe more.

bosm-covid-response

Do not come to BallaratOSM even if you are well.

There are exceedingly few exceptions. We are sending text messages to individual patients with as clear instructions as possible. Some patients require plasters to be removed or stitches to be removed, but MOST of our patients have dissolving stitches. Most of our patients can be sorted out through telemedicine. If bizarrely you are required to attend – don’t bring books / drinks or handbags into our building. Wash you hands as soon as you arrive.

Telemedicine.

Telephone calls and video phone calls are the new reality. We will telephone at the appointment time. We will either need credit card details or bulk bill you depending on your circumstances. We can look at XR’s over the internet. If you don’t have a referral, you will need to speak with our registrar first, who will arrange any details before you speak to the specialist orthopaedic surgeon. We cannot provide surgical care for people outside of the Ballarat & Western District region. Many computers have video cameras built in. If we have your email address, we can use “Zoom” to do video consultations over the internet.

Elective surgery in general is on hold.

Some day surgery might go on for a while. Otherwise – surgery will be life or limb only. This is a Ballarat wide, and soon to be Australia wide reality. Masks and gowns and other equipment will be used for the COVID areas of the hospital. Otherwise, health care workers die at twice the rate of the population.

If you are required by us to attend at BallaratOSM.

Do not come if you are sick, phone instead.
If you have a cough, or sneeze, you will be asked to leave unless you are wearing a mask.
Do not bring extraneous items into the building.
Go directly to washing your hands.
Keep your distance from other people.
Be kind to other people – everyone is stressed.

If you were required to have an XR – DON’T.

Specialist orthopaedic surgeons will work with what they have. If we don’t have everything, we’ll be OK. If we really need it, we’ll arrange it.

Radiology Providers that we can see imaging from.

Lake Imaging
Sovereign Radiology
Ballarat Base Hospital (try to leave this to the virus sufferers)
Bendigo Radiology (including Stawell & Ararat)
Healthcare (eg Wimmera)

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