We at Savannah ObGyn are committed to maintaining a high level of medical care for our patients during this time of uncertainty with the Covid-19 pandemic. While we have been fortunate to not have cases in our immediate area thus far, we expect this to change soon. It is our desire to provide our current level of care as long as we can. It is our responsibility to provide urgent and emergent care in a safe environment for our patients and staff. We are monitoring local, state and federal government mandates and recommendations, as well as those of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Having said that, we wish you our patients to understand the following points:
- We agree with recommendations for closures of schools and large gatherings to try to slow the speed at which the virus enters our community.
- Our offices are not equipped to test for or treat patients with active Covid-19 infection. As with many respiratory illnesses, this is a viral infection and antibiotics will not help. Antivirals such as Tamiflu are also ineffective. So please don’t call our offices asking for these medications. In the vast majority of cases, the only medications that will be necessary are common over the counter decongestants and pain and fever reducers such as Tylenol and ibuprofen.
- We will not be testing for the virus in our offices. If you have a new onset of fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath PLEASE DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICES. If your symptoms are mild you need to isolate yourself and treat with over the counter medications. If your symptoms become severe you need to go to an emergency facility.
- For now, testing is being prioritized for those at the highest risk: the elderly, the immunocompromised, and health care workers. Not everyone will be able to be tested, so again if your symptoms are mild consider simply isolating yourself.
- For our pregnant patients: to date, there is no evidence the virus can be transmitted from mother to fetus in utero. The greatest danger to the fetus is the potential for high fevers. Fluids, Tylenol, cool baths and placing ice packs under the armpits are ways to try to keep temperatures under 100.5 degrees. Since pregnant women are somewhat immunocompromised there is some risk of more severe illness, so testing and monitoring may be appropriate. According to a recent ACOG Practice Bulletin, there currently are no recommendations specific to pregnant women regarding the evaluation or management of Covid-19.
- We are expecting the hospitals to restrict non-urgent procedures soon. This is to ensure as many resources as possible will be available if the number of cases in our area rises as expected.
- Proper handwashing, cleaning surfaces with appropriate products, and respiratory precautions are effective ways to prevent the spread of these types of illnesses. But nothing is as effective as staying away from sick people, or staying away from others if you are the one who is sick.
To reiterate, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICES IF YOU HAVE RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS! We can’t offer you any treatment that you can’t get for yourself over the counter. If your symptoms become severe you need to be seen in a hospital emergency department.
Thank you for your cooperation. We will provide updates as they become necessary.
Alan E. Smith, MD, FACOG