The research shown in the video from King’s ties in with coronavirus requirements, by reducing operating times and sessions. Their work on 3D printed and stem cell aided prosthetics is in any event a valuable contribution.
London is a centre with well developed skills in oral & maxillofacial treatment. Leaders in the field have worked together, to respond quickly to the Covid-19 epidemic, understand the way this affects staff and patients.
The British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons are collating information and initiating Covid-19 related research. This includes outcomes for patients undergoing tracheostomy for ventilation and wider service evaluation.
Information from this helps to influence decisions on the best way to offer patient care and is backed up by world wide input.
A May 2020 worldwide survey, with input from specialists in 54 countries, offered a breadth of knowledge on Covid-19 and maxillofacial surgery. Studies from countries such as Italy, China and the US added detail.
Ways to protect patients, or oral & maxillofacial staff from infection have been significant within the research. The benefits of tailored scheduling of operations and other treatment changes have been highlighted.
Adopting modern technology has seen maxillofacial care develop for the future, in ways which will stay with us. Communication between specialists has improved.
Whilst maxillofacial surgeons are not front line figures in managing the epidemic, their support is seen as essential in trauma care, or other urgent surgery. They assist by minimising treatment and reducing operating times.
UK Specific Guidance
Alongside the guidance offered by senior consultants, the NHS has published principles for the treatment of acute oral & maxillofacial patients.
Where there is a significant need for in patient surgery, perhaps from jaw, or facial fractures, or serious infections, this should go ahead. Staff at all levels have been trained in implementing useful changes.
There should still be consideration of non surgical techniques and where possible, day surgery, rather than admission. As they state, day surgery can be safely undertaken for a large number of conditions.
The principle of reducing risk and mimimising attendances for consultation should be adhered to but not in a way which prevents patients from receiving treatment which is essential to their long term health.
As we stated in the section on treatment during coronavirus, patient needs are paramount and can be met with safety in mind.