QEH ‘safe for surgery

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with the operating theatres at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Acting Director of Medical Services Dr Clyde Cave has insisted.

He sought to allay patients’ fears of  exposure to infection or risk of contracting COVID-19 when undergoing surgeries.

His comments came in the wake of concerns raised by General Surgeon Dr Maurice Waldron as to the state of operating rooms at the Enmore isolation facility across the street from the hospital.

But Dr Cave stressed the issues were not related to operating theatres at the QEH.

He declared that the operating theatres at the QEH were of high quality and that patients need not fear.

Dr Cave said: “There are no concerns about the theatres at the hospital. The discussion was about a potential new theatre in case a rare event of a patient with COVID-19 developed.

“As a result of this discussion we are hearing from people in the community who are now scared that to come into the hospital there is something wrong with the theatres that we have.

“The theatres that we have now are the same high standard that they have always been and this whole discussion is an effort to protect them so that they remain so.

“So the discussion about the facility that was not up to the standard desired by some surgeons was another facility outside of the hospital for a very small subset of people, which is COVID-19 patients who would require extraordinary surgery.”

Executive chairman of the QEH Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland also revealed that the Department of Surgery was consulted beforehand so that their concerns could be heard and addressed.

She said within the last two weeks a decision was made that all patients undergoing surgery at the QEH would be pre-screened for COVID-19.

Bynoe-Sutherland announced that the first basic surgery had been performed at the Enmore facility yesterday.

She said in the case of complex surgeries which could not be done at Enmore, surgeons would consult with the Chief Medical Officer, who would conduct a risk assessment.

She said: “Another aspect of patient safety that has been getting a lot of air recently is the whole issue of patient safety when it comes to surgery.

“What we would have done is sat down with the department and worked out a number of interventions that ensured surgeons can be comfortable with the patients they are working on.”

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