Important Information Regarding COVID-19
As of the early days of this pandemic, when the shelter in place order came down from the Governor’s office, at Palo Alto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we were committed as a front-line care provider to prevent dental infections taking the much-needed hospital beds. During this unprecedented time, we had to scramble like the rest of the country to get proper personal protective equipment. Through the genius action of our management team, we were able to secure high-quality respirators as well as positive pressure hoods for our staff. Even before the guidelines through CDC were available, a good common sense, old fashion infection control methods that have been instilled in our practice was reinforced to prevent any disease transmission and allowed us to provide a safe service to our community. During the peak month of April, we have seen more than 30 emergency cases anywhere from severe abscesses, some of which were spreading into the neck, to fracture bones, and prevented those individuals from occupying the much-needed hospital bed at the area hospitals.
During this downtime and even before the new CDC, AAOMS, CALAOMS, and ADA guidelines for dental offices were available; we have made the following changes to our office:
- Installation of HEPA level filtration in our HVAC system as well as at the floor level:
- Installation of UVC air treatment into our HVAC system to create safer environment for our patients and our staff:
- Installation of negative pressure system in each surgical operating room.
- UVC treatment of each room for 30 minutes after each surgery with 500 watts UVC source, in addition to our usual OSHA required chemical disinfection:
- The use of 3M dual cartridge 5000 respirator series as well as 3M positive pressure respirators to eliminate and/or minimize the possibility of any transmission:
- Procurement of level II surgical gowns through our hospital vendors which will be replenished weekly and will be cleaned and sterilized off-site.
Now that there is a steady decline in Santa Clara County new cases:
As well as ease of restriction by the Governor’s office and the California Department of Health, our office will resume operation with the following changes:
- Each patient upon arrival will be asked to sanitize their hands either by hand washing or provided hand sanitizer.
- The patient’s temperature will be checked with a touch less thermometer on arrival.
- If the patient is not wearing a mask, we will provide a mask to the patient.
- All of our front desk staffs are wearing mask and facial shield.
- Prior to each procedure, 100% of our scheduled patients will be tested via PCR for COVID-19.
- All of our staff, including myself, have been tested, and thankfully everyone is negative. We are doing weekly screening via Saliva PCR test.
- At this point, every emergency, urgency and necessary surgeries will be performed in this fashion.