Medicos tackling swine flu urged to follow safety guidelines
New Delhi: With three doctors in the capital testing positive for swine flu, the central government has appealed to all doctors, paramedics and lab technicians to follow safety guidelines to avoid getting infected with the influenza A(H1N1) virus."Three doctors who tested positive for the flu had accidental exposure to the virus due to some laxity. All doctors, paramedical staff and lab technicians must take adequate precautions to avoid swine flu infection," health secretary Naresh Dayal told reporters here Friday.
Dayal said the medicos are more vulnerable to the flu and following safety guidelines is the only way to avoid the spread of infection.
"Doctors, paramedics should wear a mask in the hospital and should wash hands after checking every single patient," he said.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also issued a set of guidelines for doctors to prevent the spread of the virus.
"We have asked doctors across the country to follow World Health Organisation safety guidelines for swine flu so that they do not get infected by the virus. They should wear masks compulsorily while checking patients in Out Patient Department (OPD) and emergency," Ashok Adhao, IMA president, told.
The guidelines lists do`s and don`ts for doctors.
"Doctors should wash hands after checking every single patient, should immediately refer patient showing swine flu symptoms to designated government health facilities and counsel people about the flu," said Adaho.
Randeep Guleria, head of medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said one should not forget that H1N1 is an extremely contagious virus.
"When a doctor is examining a patient who has the flu-like symptoms he wouldn`t know whether he has seasonal flu or swine flu. The best is to take precaution even when one is sitting in the OPD or the emergency because it is here that such patients could come." said Guleria.
He said the doctors and other health workers should wear masks and gloves at all times.
"They should always remember that flu-like symptoms could be influenza A (H1N1) until proved otherwise," he said.
First Published: Saturday, August 08, 2009, 00:00
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