WHERE WE ARE…WHERE WE ARE GOING
Unless you are 100 years old, we have never experienced an event as we find ourselves in now.
It is not a conventional war, it is a biological event. Good times or bad, biological events rule the day.
TESTING is available.
PCR testing for the presence of the virus: Early on in our current dilemma we became able to use PCR testing by nasal swab. The PCR test checks to see IF a patient HAS the ACTIVE Corona Virus. Questions are asked regarding fever, cough, shortness of breath and very importantly, contacts and travel history as well as gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. This helps define if the patient HAS this HIGHLY TRANSMISSIBLE, POTENTIALLY LETHAL virus.
It is a diagnostic test to ascertain the patient has the virus and requires care. Simultaneously it also gives the Nurses, Doctors and Ancillary Care team the information they need to protect themselves while helping the patient. It is the drive through test done by fully protected people, being done as we speak.
Antibody Testing: This blood test checks to see if the patient has been exposed to the virus, whether they are aware of any exposure or not. It tests for Immunoglobulin G, the antibody that tells us you have developed a response to that exposure. The degree of long term protection, ie immunity, is currently being studied as our knowledge of this disease progresses. These tests have been released by the FDA by Emergency Order. MOST IMPORTANTLY, it seeks to ascertain who has been EXPOSED and SURVIVED and WHO IS STILL AT RISK for this highly transmissible and potentially lethal disease.
Routine Lab Work: Until the office reopens, needed outpatient lab work can be obtained at the Outpatient Lab in the front entrance of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. I can email you a prescription if we need labwork for you. If you are homebound, APEX Labs is available to do so. If I haven’t spoken with you already, please contact me at the office and set up a Telehealth visit and I will be able to accommodate you.
The virus is spread by breathing, coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces where it may lie. This is the basis of the medical advice to wash your hands, cough into the inner fold of your elbow and adequately space yourself from others, thereby reducing the spread to loved ones and the general public. It is the responsible thing to do.
MOVING FORWARD…SAFELY My office watches the epidemiological curves that change on a daily basis, as a result of our mutual success in mitigating this problem. In doing so, we pave a path to normalizing our daily life while keeping ourselves, and those we depend upon, safe and well. EVERYONE is RESPONSIBLE in this endeavor.
We all have RIGHTS. Much is heard constantly of our rights to do this, and our rights to do that.
With great rights come great responsibilities. Institutions have pages of significantly important Patient Rights, and relatively few Patient Responsibilities mostly directed at their interaction with the institution, than with the healers. The American Medical Association in their Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 1.1.4 more realistically describes the RESPONSIBILITIES inherent in the Doctor-Patient Relationship. It enhances the collaboration between the two. I have always remarked to patients in need “if you, me and the Nurse here, stick together, we should be fine”. It enriches the health team teamwork and thusly the health of the Patient.
A recent occurrence is related. A family brought their relative to a hospital for care. The patient was emergently treated after which the family revealed to the team that the patient, and the family, were all positive for active COVID 19, despite negating the question, when initially asked. They stated they preferred not to tell anyone for the erroneous concern they would be not be treated correctly. Had the team known, they would have been able to prepare. The procedure was lifesaving. The Nurse, the Doctor and the Surgical Team all contracted COVID 19.
THE PLAN: Testing is available:
Antibody testing should be performed prior to the office opening up in the not too distant future. It gives us a productive task to ascertain where we are going forward. The office has been tested and is stable.
Locally, at this time, the following places are offering Immunoglobulin G antibody testing using Quest Labs. I am told insurance and Medicare covers the testing. Any cost is highly affordable. Test results should be forwarded to my office for your file. If you have the test drawn, NOTIFY THE OFFICE so that we may assure the clinic gets us the results. Call ahead to the clinic and make an appointment for the testing. In that way you can be prescreened and enhance the process. Some sites locally are:
Boca Raton Regional Hospital Urgent Care Glades and Lyons – call 561-883-6677 for appointments
MDNOW Urgent Care for clinics and appointments near you – call 561-688-5808
PCR COVID 19 nasal swab testing is still being done at:
South County Civic Center – Cleveland Clinic Florida – call 561-804-0250 for appointments
West Palm Beach Testing at FITTEAM Ballpark – call 561-642-1000 for appointments
Call my Office with any questions or concerns. Together we will find the Path Forward – SAFELY. Be Well,