Document Type: GUIDELINE

Authors

1 Bone and Joint Reconstruction Research Center, Shafa Orthopaedic Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Iranian Orthopedic Association Education Committee, Tehran, Iran

4 Honarmand Atisaz Clinic, Tehran, Iran

5 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Joint Reconstruction Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Iranian Orthopedic Association, Tehran, Iran

8 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ahwaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahwaz, Iran

9 Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

10 Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Iranian Orthopedic Community as a part of the national health system feels deeply responsible to take part in the battle against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although we might not be considered the front-line defenders, we do have a key role in this challenge. As the crisis continues to grow in Iran, the risk of contracting the virus increases with subsequent increase in the number of seriously ill and dying patients. The shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) is a main concern that may even worsen as the number grows. In response to the burden on the health system, the elective part of our practice has to be suspended for now so that the resources can be deployed to more critical patients. There is a social responsibility to preserve vital resources for those who are in greater need. Moreover, we follow the recommended social distancing by postponing elective surgeries which should help reduce further spread of this disease. The recommendations in this document are valid through the evolving period of the current pandemic. Future amendments and updates will be announced in line with the action plans of the Ministry of Health.

Nonetheless in this crisis, we should be prepared to treat non-elective and trauma patients who are in need of emergency care. We should seek the best local solutions to continue the proper management for these trauma patients while preserving resources for the response to COVID-19. Furthermore, we need to plan for probable shortages in our resources including staff, spaces and supplies. The Iranian Orthopedic Association (IOA) supports shared decision-making policy in these extraordinary circumstances and acknowledges that non-operative management of many orthopedic injuries as well as reducing face-to-face follow-ups are a reasonable path.

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