COVID-19 will continue to impact the healthcare system, hospitals, practices, orthopaedic surgeons, and patients for the foreseeable future. To help disseminate the most relevant and current news, the Academy will publish bonus COVID-19-focused editions of Headline News Now each Tuesday and Thursday through the end of May.
Today’s Top Story
House Will No Longer Return to Washington Next Week
The House of Representatives has reversed course and will not bring the chamber back into session next week. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who made the announcement, said the decision was made with advice from the Capitol physician as well as due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Washington, D.C.
OSHA Issues Guidance on Decontaminating Filtering Facepiece Respirators for Reuse
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published guidance on decontaminating filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) that have been contaminated with pathogens. The guidance is not intended to facilitate reuse of FFRs that have become overloaded with other contaminants, such as silica dust. The most effective methods recommended are: (1) vaporous hydrogen peroxide, (2) ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, and/or (3) moist heat—such as using water in a heated oven.
A study published online by The Commonwealth Fund examined how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected outpatient visits. The study observed a 61 percent decrease in orthopaedic outpatient visits between the week of March 1 and the week of April 5.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) issued a strategic plan describing the main points of focus for COVID-19 research. The plan has four key priorities: (1) improving fundamental knowledge of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19; (2) developing rapid, accurate diagnostics and assays to identify and isolate COVID-19 cases and track the spread of the virus; (3) characterizing and testing possible treatments; and (4) developing safe and effective vaccines.
Caring for Pediatric Orthopaedic Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A review article published online in the Journal of the AAOS ® provided recommendations for the care of pediatric orthopaedic patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The general principles of the recommendations include limiting procedures to urgent cases, deferring outpatient visits, considering nonoperative methods when possible, and delaying treatment by two to four months if it will not result in substantial and detrimental long-term impact.
Visa Concerns Prevent Immigrant Physicians From Helping Communities Hard Hit by COVID-19
Current visa restrictions may be keeping immigrant physicians from fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines in areas that need the most help, according to an article published in MDEdge. Non-U.S. citizen resident physicians are currently bound to their specific institution and cannot be moved to a health system that may be in more dire need. Across the country, about one in five physicians are immigrants.
The AAOS leadership will continue to present periodic webinars to share the Academy’s ongoing efforts to support members during the coronavirus pandemic. During the most recent webinar on April 23, AAOS leadership fielded member questions, as well as provided information about AAOS guidelines for restarting elective surgery, advocacy, coding, and the AAOS bylaws amendments.