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Safety Protocols for Radiation Therapy Patients & Staff Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Safety Protocols for Radiation Therapy Patients & Staff Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

In Conclusion

An advisory by the association of radiation oncologists of India (AROI) for radiation therapy patients and staff amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cancer patients are more susceptible to infection because of the following reasons

  • Undergoing treatment in form of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy
  • Patients with hematological malignancies
  • Transplant patients on immunosuppressive therapy
  • Elderly cancer patients with medical comorbidities

In order to contain the spread of novel COVID-19, some precautionary measures are required to be taken

How Do You Suspect A COVID 19 Case

A patient with fever & cough and breathing difficulty with

  • Contact with suspected & confirmed COVID19 cases in the last few weeks
    Traveled to any of the countries where local transmission going on (WHO document)
  • Healthcare worker caring for a confirmed COVID19 pts
  • Severe pneumonia or ARDS
  • A person living in the same household as COVID 19 case or direct contact with COVID 19 case without proper PPE
  • Face to face contact with COVID 19 case within 1 meter or closed environments like an airplane or closed room gatherings

Directive To Patients

  • Follow social distancing
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Avoid crowded areas
  • Wash your hands frequently and correctly with a soap/ sanitizer
  • Consider delaying your palliative radiotherapy if it is only for minor symptom relief and has no impact on outcome or disease control
  • Elderly patients, especially with symptoms, are at highest risk and extra precaution should be taken

Directives To Healthcare Professionals

General Measures

  • Provide a clean and spacious waiting area with adequate distance between Chairs
  • Provide mask and hand hygiene aids like sanitizer, hand-wash, gloves at outpatient area
  • Protocol for temperature and vitals checking for patients
  • Special care to suspected/vulnerable patients by dedicated & trained staff
  • Protocol for COVID 19 screening & isolation
  • All international travelers should submit a self-declaration form which can be submitted at the counters
  • Certain countries are high transmission countries and travelers from those countries are advised to undergo 14 days self-quarantine from the date of arrival
  • All such suspected patients should be handled as per institutional policies and guidelines/helplines provided by the government
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