Important infection control information COVID-19
Our priority is to help keep you safe whilst being mindful that Personal Protection Equipment is potentially in limited supply.
We have put together the following information to help keep you safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Clinicians wearing a Uniform:
Do not arrive or leave wearing your uniforms. Instead, you should change and put the uniform you have been provided in a plastic bag for laundering.
Clinicians who do not wear a Uniform:
Workers should change clothes before starting their shift and change before entering the ward or leaving the ward. If you work between two wards, you are advised to change before leaving the first ward and again at the end of the day.
Clinicians treating children:
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the British Paediatric Allergy Immunity Group (BPAIIG) have released some information for those clinicians who treat children.
If you carry out tonsillar examinations in asymptomatic children please take the time to read their recommendations.
- They recommend that the oropharynx of children should only be examined if essential.
- If the throat needs to be examined, they advise personal protective equipment (fluid resistant surgical face mask, plastic apron and gloves) should be worn, irrespective of whether the child has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or not.
- If a child is being tested for COVID-19, they state staff should routinely wear PPE (surgical face mask and gown) to collect the combined nose/throat sample.
Clinicians working with children in Primary and Emergency departments.
Suspected tonsillitis in primary care or emergency departments
During the COVID-19 pandemic, they state if a diagnosis of tonsillitis is suspected based on clinical history, the default becomes not examining the throat unless absolutely necessary.
They give the following advice:
- If you are using the fever pain scoring system to decide if antibiotics are indicated (validated in children 3 years and older) we suggest that a pragmatic approach is adopted, and automatically starting with a score of 2 in lieu of an examination seems reasonable.
- Children with a total fever pain score or 4 or 5 should be prescribed antibiotics (Children with a score of 3 or less should receive safety netting advice)
- Although this is likely to result in a temporary increase in antibiotic prescribing in children, we feel that this is preferable to healthcare staff being unnecessarily exposed to COVID-19. Antibiotics rarely confer a benefit in children under 3 years with tonsillitis and should only be prescribed in exceptional circumstances or if a diagnosis of scarlet fever is strongly considered.
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