Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19 in DHQ Orthopaedic Department

  • Obaid ur Rahman assistant professor orthopedics
  • Nayyur Qayyum
  • Afzal Aleem Khan
  • Muhammad Ammar Aslam
  • Syed Zohaib Haider
Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Orthopaedics.


Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Not only that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a complete lockdown but also burdened healthcare systems across the world immensely.

Objective: In this paper, we discuss the different strategies we adopted in the Orthopaedics Department of District Head Quarter [DHQ] hospital Rawalpindi, during this ongoing pandemic and share our experience of successfully but cautiously providing orthopedic services to patients in a public hospital. We compare our workload and output of May 2020 [pandemic phase] to May 2019 [standard/normal phase].

Methodology: The Hospital policy was changed after the COVID-19 pandemic. We increased public awareness and reduced load in the OPD using different strategies. We postponed all elective cases; focusing our logistics and resources only on the patients in urgent need of surgical management. A minimum number of doctors and OTAs were allocated on each list. Inwards, the patient stay was reduced. As a standard PCR test for COVID-19 was expensive, we devised our screening through history, examination, and routine investigations.

Results:  The average stay inwards was reduced from 6.4±4.6 days in May 2019 to 2.7±3.6 days in May 2020. The decrease in the stay was statistically significant (p=.0206) and was associated with a 24.4% increase in the number of total patient admissions in May 2020 (n=56) as compared to May 2019 (n=45). The number of surgeries performed month to month was very similar in normal and pandemic periods.

Our OPD patient attendance dropped from 200-250 patients per day in 2019 to 60-70 during the ongoing pandemic phase.

Conclusion: We believe that sharing experiences between health care actors allows us to develop an effective strategy to provide the very best care to our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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How to Cite
Rahman O, Qayyum N, Khan A, Aslam M, Haider S. Meeting the Challenge of COVID-19 in DHQ Orthopaedic Department. JRMC [Internet]. 13Aug.2020 [cited 16Aug.2022];24(Supp-1):21-5. Available from: