The COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly-evolving situation in the USA and worldwide, however, as states begin to resume normal services in veterinary facilities, veterinarians should thoughtfully use personal protective equipment (PPE). Some jurisdictions are requiring that veterinary facilities must write an emergency plan that should include presenting how performing elective or non-urgent procedures will not lead to the practice to revert to “crisis capacity” standards of care or cause shortage of PPE supplies by bulk PPE suppliers in the USA in healthcare systems.
Veterinary facilities can refer to their PPE order histories as rationale if required to create a written emergency plan. Furthermore, the CDC has created a spreadsheet and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has built a mobile app to assist healthcare facilities to anticipate their PPE usage and needs.
The CDC COVID-19 online resources include Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Veterinary Clinics Treating Companion Animals During the COVID-19 Response that provides guidance for PPE use in companion animal practice amidst the global pandemic. Mobile and house call veterinarians are amazingly diverse in what services they provide, how they provide, and what resources do they use to do so. Entering a home or interfacing with a COVID-19 quarantined person should occur only if the veterinarian follows the guidelines provided by the CDC, state, and local health officials. Veterinarians should consider following the guidance for Public Health Professionals Managing People With COVID-19 in Home Care and Isolation Who Have Pets or Other Animals and have access to the right personal protective equipment gear before they take any step.
The One Health aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 virus focuses on the right balance of animal health and human health that veterinarians routinely consider.
Things to Consider Apart from Using Personal Protective Equipment Only
- Veterinarians must ask screening questions when an appointment is scheduled and on the day of the scheduled visit. Questions should include inquiring about who has a cough and cold, fever, respiratory problem, any contact with a COVID+ person, and if there’s anyone in the home who is COVID-19 quarantined. If clients and/or household confirm any of the screening questions, there is more likelihood of getting infected. Make sure you take the following precautions before providing the treatment.
- Reschedule elective veterinary procedures for those clients who confirmed any of the screening questions.
- Use telemedicine when a veterinarian-client-patient relationship is built.
- Veterinarians should avoid seeing an animal during the quarantine period of a known COVID-19 patient, if possible.
- Follow the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Public Health Professionals Managing People With COVID-19 in Home Care and Isolation Who Have Pets or Other Animals.
- In case of an emergency, when veterinary procedures for animals of COVID+ persons cannot be delayed, veterinary professionals should provide care and treatment for the animal(s) outside of the home, if possible. This can be done on the property in a mobile unit or a different building from the owner, such as a barn, or by transporting the animal to the veterinary facility. When transporting the animals off-site, they should be put in a species-appropriate crate or trailer.
- If it’s not possible to provide care outside of the home, veterinary personnel should interface with COVID-negative persons only in the home. If this is not possible, the COVID-infected person should wear an N95 mask or medical-grade surgical mask and maintain a distance of 6 feet from the veterinarian.
- Only the required veterinary staff should visit the home of the COVID-19 quarantined person.
- Perform hand hygiene before and after the treatment. Access to hand washing and disinfection materials should be available.
The CDC also includes guidance for bulk PPE suppliers to help them create strategies to optimize the supply-chain of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies. Seeing the rising demand for PPEs every healthcare system, veterinary facility, and PPE manufacturing company should tie-up with the local bulk PPE suppliers in the USA to ensure there’s an adequate and continuous supply of PPEs. The CDC also emphasizes on the reuse and extended use of face masks, N95 respirators, and other categories of PPE so that there is less pressure on PPE manufacturing companies to produce PPEs. Healthcare centers should provide training on the proper use of PPE and implement strategies or guidelines to control the misuse of PPE and the spread of COVID-19.
The Last Say
The havoc caused due to the COVID-19 outbreak is changing the daily lifestyles of Americans, including veterinary staff. The mandatory lockdown and social distancing have brought new challenges for healthcare and veterinary personnel in providing care and treatment. All these have a huge impact on the mental health status of individuals. Therefore, mental health and wellbeing should now be the topmost priority of every civilian, healthcare worker, and mobile and house call veterinarians to overcome the emotional challenges of this unprecedented situation
As one of the leading PPE experts and bulk PPE suppliers in the USA, we are together in the fight against COVID-19. We are committed to delivering high-quality, medical-grade PPE, and other medical supplies to healthcare systems and veterinary facilities and help the staff to overcome the challenges faced in providing care and treatment. We deploy effective strategies to optimize the PPE supply-chain to ensure there’s an uninterrupted and timely supply of personal protective equipment. Co-Defend cuts through medical supply-chains by providing directly connecting people with the most trusted medical supply manufacturers in Asia to facilitate bulk supplies of PPE during the pandemic period. Therefore, when it comes to buying personal protective equipment from experts, think of buying it from Co-Defend – the most trusted PPE manufacturing company in the USA.