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Should I avoid the hospital? One Doctor's opinion.

The following is written from my own perspective, as an orthopedic surgeon working at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, GA, a hospital that earlier this year was in the national news for a high incidence of Covid patients.

Many patients have fear of contracting the virus and want to avoid any contact with the hospital. I am sharing this opinion, not as a public health official, but as a provider who goes there almost daily.

Bottom line:  I feel relatively comfortable going there.

Everyone in the building is required to wear a mask. I see staff using the hand sanitizer gel frequently, and I observe frequent hand washing.

Visitors are limited.

Any patients going to surgery are given the rapid Covid test (with positive patients having surgery in a special room with a higher level of PPE), and any patients with any suspicion of Covid exposure coming in through the ER are also tested.

Any patients with documented Covid are on separate wards.

While I can understand that the wise course would be to avoid any activities that would increase risk of exposure, I am offering this opinion for consideration, especially for any patients considering whether to have their elective surgery performed.

Hope this info helps.

Author
Mark Wolgin, MD Orthopaedic Surgeon, fellowship trained in spinal and foot/ankle surgery

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