COVID-19 Guidance for Orthotists, Prosthetists, and Pedorthists
In light of on-going COVID-19 concerns and Governor Hutchinson’s recent State of Emergency Declaration, the Arkansas Department of Health recommends voluntary suspension of all non-emergency or non-urgent care to all Orthotic, Prosthetic and Pedorthic (OPP) patients through April 3, 2020, or longer depending on the severity of the pandemic in Arkansas. This recommendation is subject to change at the discretion of the Governor and Secretary of Health.
The only care to be provided at this time should be urgent in nature that specifically addresses pain management. Recommended guidelines suggest delaying treatment for high-risk patients who meet any of the following criteria:
- recently returned from overseas travel;
- present with a fever of 100.4oF or more;
- aged 65 and older;
- have compromised immune systems and/or present with chronic disease
Universal precautions are to be strictly followed in ALL cases in order to minimize the possibility of disease transmission.
Patients with an acute respiratory illness should be discouraged from seeking care in your office. Patients who present for care should be identified at check-in and segregated from other patients in your setting. If care must be provided, staff should:
- Seek to prevent the transmission of respiratory infections in healthcare settings by adhering to respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette.
- Offer a disposable surgical mask to persons who are coughing; and provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal.
- Personnel assessing a patient with influenza-like or other respiratory illness should wear disposable surgical facemask*, non-sterile gloves, gown, and eye protection (e.g., goggles) to prevent exposure.
- Patient and personnel should perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after possible contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
- Routine cleaning and disinfection strategies used during influenza seasons can be applied to the environmental management for COVID-19. More information can be found here.
Collective actions taken by the OPP community can help deter the proliferation of the COVID-19 virus in Arkansas. By rescheduling care, OPP professionals can do their part to prevent community spread, as well as help to preserve the limited supply of personal protective equipment that is critical for frontline healthcare personnel responding to this pandemic.
For the most up-to-date information and support, visit https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/