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The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupted our daily activities but also questioned our visit to the hospitals
and clinic. An apparent fear encapsulated our minds and rendered us helpless at times.
Apart from the COVID warriors, the medical professionals in the stream of ENT, gynaecology, ophthalmology,
orthopedy, etc., had to face the doubts of taking up patients. For patients, consulting even for ear pain or
nose bleed became an arduous task because of COVID fear.
But the Ministry of Health in India, took specific steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the medical
In this article, we will see how the ENT specialists in Kolkata, in compliance with the government rule, devised a protective environment for patients to get consulted during COVID-19 times.
Protocols Designed for Visiting An ENT Specialist
ENT is a high-risk area, prone to the spread of COVID-19 infection among the patients and the doctors. The
following protocols or SOPs have been set up by the government for the ENT specialists and the patients to
get better treatment and avoid the COVID-19 virus.
- Telecommunication or online consultation should always be preferred between the doctor and the patient
to avoid physical interaction. Even after the surgery, patients should be advised to take a follow-up through
- Only one patient should be allowed in the examination room.
- Patients with appointments should be preferred over walk-in patients.
- Ensure the patient and the ENT specialist is wearing masks, hand gloves, and maintaining social distancing.
- Use sanitisers before entering.
- Patients are screened using thermal, thermal guns to reduce the exposure to the medical staff.
- Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 are screened in a separate COVID-19 Screening Clinic to ensure the
safety of other ENT patients.
- Personnels screening the patients have to wear a PPE kit.
- All the patients and their caretakers must wear a tripled layer mask and a gown.
Precautions Within ENT OPD Room
- ENT OPD room must be well-ventilated.
- The ENT specialists must wear a Level I PPE kit that includes an N95 mask, gloves, gown, and face shield.
- For unavoidable Nasal Endoscopy, doctors and nurses must wear Level II PPE kit that includes an N95 mask,
gloves, cover-all gown, and goggles. Generally, this is to avoid any risk from the aerosol generation during
- Patients with COVID-19 symptoms should be treated in separate wards. Only after the COVID-19 negative
report, they should be shifted to the ENT ward.
- Only one care-taker of the patient should be allowed in the ward. The care-taker should also be screened
- Operation and ENT instruments must be sterilised as per the standard protocol.
- Ward should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- A distance of two meters between the patients’ bed is compulsory.
- Belongings of the patients must be kept to a minimum.
- All the furniture in the ward must be kept to a minimum and cleaned regularly.
- Visitors should not be allowed.
- A separate ward should be marked for the tracheostomised patients or the patients with a high potential
of aerosol generation.
The above points are the significant protocols required for ENT consultation. ENT symptoms involve ear pain, nose bleed, sore throat, snoring, hearing loss, etc. The respiratory organs are more prone to the COVID-19 virus. Thus, ENT becomes a crucial branch to follow the safety protocols during such a pandemic.
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