27th March 2020 Plastic surgery and COVID-19
With our modern world hit with a pandemic (also known as SARS-CoV-2), the whole world has changed – if not by the virus then certainly by the restrictions being put in place to stop the spread of the respiratory illness. All non-essential travel is prohibited and hospital beds are needed in case of a massive surge in Coronavirus cases.
There is a lot of information out there, we are not replacing any sensible advice, however we have put together some useful links regarding novel coronavirus CoVid-19.
All non-essential surgeries are also put on hold, initially for the next 3 months, after which the situation will be re-addressed – to determine whether such operations as reconstructive plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery will recommence.
Please see Elaine’s message regarding plastic surgery operations here, please bear in mind that once the world returns to a fully functioning status we will be open again for surgeries. We are hoping that this will all reach resolution as soon as possible, more quickly if the government guidelines are adhered to.
A national operation
We all need to act appropriately so that our most vulnerable members of society are protected and the steep exponential curve of infection is slowed down. Exponential growth happens a lot in real life.
Our most vulnerable include those with long term illness, are elderly, recovering from an operation, pregnant, and lower immune systems.
Exponential rate of growth
Exponential growth is about big increases where the number doubles in equal units of time.
If ‘x’ is the number of people with a virus, they infect a lot of people, who then go on to infect a lot of people. With infection possible during the incubation period, between 2 and 14 days, it’s easy to see how the spread can multiply rapidly.
CoVid-19 is a new variation of a common enemy, a family of familiar illnesses to affect both humans and animals.
For an electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 please follow this link to the Time website.
This mutated version can be contagious almost immediately it infects it’s host. It does this by “shedding”, sending out copies of itself which are free to travel in droplets expelled in coughs or sneezes.
” Viral shedding: Over the course of the infection, the virus has been identified in respiratory tract specimens 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms and it can persist for 7-12 days in moderate cases and up to 2 weeks in severe cases . In faeces, viral RNA has been detected from day 5 after onset and up to 4 to 5 weeks in moderate cases. “(Link)
Although the virus is not airborne, it can survive for a short time on soft materials, longer on hard, smooth surfaces.
Some figures to allay the panic
Taking the UK on Sunday 22nd March evening. Of the 80,000 people tested because they were showing symptoms, 5,700 persons were found to have a positive test result for CoVid-19. This is 7% of people with temperatures and dry continuous cough actually have the novel virus.
The government has (contraversially) chosen to not test everyone only some who are showing symptoms and this will skew the figures, if the only people tested are those who have died, the death rate will appear to go up.
In Italy, of the 60,000,000 population, they currently have 53,578 confirmed cases 4,827 deaths. This equates to 0.09% of the country’s population who have tested positive for CoVid19 where 0.01% of the population have sadly died.
More figures for each country can be found here on the WHO website. Unless the test becomes cost effective to test everyone – the number of people with immunity will indicate the true number of infected persons.
Follow the good old fashioned advice on how to minimise transmiting coughs and sneezes, and a whole load of other unpleasantries with “Catch it, bin it, kill it”.
Wash your hands, properly – see this guide from the EU on how to wash them throughly so no bits are missed
Disinfect/wipe surfaces – anywhere that can be touched should be cleaned. Pay particular attention to contact points, light switches, door handles, steering wheels, bin, taps, gates, shopping trolleys etc.
Don’t touch your face – specifically your nose, mouth or eyes. If you have picked up the virus on your hands, you can transfer it to it’s prefered destination. It’s a bit like the doughnut game, only not as tasty.
Stay away from people, at least 2m
Get exercise. There are some amazing bodyweight exercises – you need no equipment at all, find some youtube videos and clear a space to get an effective, cheap and solitary workout without leaving the house.
It’s worth noting that exercise can strengthen your immune system and improve your all round health – both physically and mentally. However overdoing exercise can leave your immune system vulnerable, such as marathon running or really intense workouts. They are also fantastic long term but can induce an immune response immediately after.
For best health benefits, keep exercise moderate in duration and intensity.
Only leave the house for unavoidable/essential reasons. Minimse this to once per day.
Most importantly, use common sense
There is further information available online, one source from China recommends washing clothes worn outside as soon as you get in, to minimise transfer into the home.
Don’t add to a burgeoning NHS
One of the main reasons to follow the guidance from the government is to level the curve, to prevent there being a big influx of COVID-19 cases into hospitals, all at once.
BAPRAS ask the public to be especially careful at present, to avoid putting extra strain on the NHS whilst they deal with an increase in patients requiring medical attention.
Click here to read the article on the BAPRAS website.
When will normal operations resume?
With little really known about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it’s not possible to put an end time on the isolation and restrictions currently in place. When Elaine will be able to carry out plastic surgery operations again is very much unknown.
Vaccines will need thorough studies, which take months of testing, to ensure that they are safe as well as effective. More needs to be understood about the virus itself although there are many papers emerging, based on casestudies and statistics from China.
We are sure that the all clear will be given loudly enough when it comes, but we will also let you know when we are resuming plastic surgery operations. In the meatime, if you wish to discuss and surgical or non-surgical treatments, please contact Elaine’s secretary on email@example.com