UNAIR NEWS – National Scientific Meeting (TIMNAS) was held by Faculty of Dental Medicine (FKG) Universitas Airlangga. This time, the discussion was not only limited to the field of dental and oral health, but also the health issue which is now in the spotlight of the world, the corona virus (COVID-19).
The topic of COVID-19 was discussed in a panel discussion on the first day that took place on Thursday (27/2) at the Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya. Carrying the heading A Glimpse of COVID-19: Why is it Getting Viral? The discussion was initiated by Prof. Dr. Diah Savitri Ernawati, drg., M.Si., Sp. PM (K), and Prof. Dr. M. Rubianto, drg., MS., Sp. Perio (K).
Interviewed after the event, Prof. Rubianto said that the widespread trasmission of COVID-19 is shocking the international community, including the dentists. How come? As medical personnel, they always make contact with patients so they are vulnerable to exposure to various infectious diseases.
“Now, Indonesia is surrounded by countries whose communities have been infected with COVID-19. But, why people here are not infected? Finally, we took the initiative to create a panel discussion that invited several experts, so they could provide information to medical staff, the government, and the wider community, “explained Prof. Rubianto.
According to the lecturer of FKG UNAIR Prosthodontics Department, medical staff such as doctors have the potential to be infected with COVID-19, both when conducting examinations on patients or through viruses attached to their medical equipment. Therefore, dentists need to be equipped with information related to COVID-19 to minimize transmission.
“Disease can enter through various medium. Even people who have good antibodies can get it. Well, dentists are also vulnerable because they usually make direct contact with respiratory tract (mouth, ed), “said Prof. Rubianto.
He also said that dentists should always be aware of the condition of the patient’s mouth. Because, it is a place of millions of bacteria that can spread to other organs of the body, as well as trigger the emergence of diseases, including COVID-19.
Dr. Soetomo Hospital specialist reminds dentists two things they need to do
One of the experts from Hospital Infection Control Prevention Team (PPI) Dr. Soetomo also attended the panel discussion. Dr. Arif Bakhtiar, Sp.P (K), FAPSR revealed that there are two efforts that dentists need to make in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
First, airbone precautions or efforts to increase the awareness of airborne transmission. He appealed to every dentist to pay attention to the design of his practice room. Starting from the ventilation to the layout of the furniture. The use of air conditioners such as air conditioners (AC), and fans should be used properly.
“Don’t just think about being cool with AC, but without ventilation. The practice room will be impermeable. Then, for the use of fans, use it to one direction without moving propeller. The virus may spread everywhere. In addition, the location of the fan should be placed behind the doctor, not behind the patient, “he explained.
The second effort is droplet precautions, which uses complete personal protective equipment. Not only dentists, officers who stand guard in front of the room also play an important role in conducting initial screening of patients. They can check the temperature with a thermometer and ask if the patient has a risk of carrying the virus.
“We must be vigilant and check patients with temperatures higher than normal temperatures, around 36.5-37 degrees Celsius. Then, the nurse can also ask the patient, for example whether the patient has been traveling from a country where there are coronavirus cases? Or maybe interacting with people from other country?, “said Dr. Arief while giving an example.
If symptoms are detected leading to COVID-19, the patient must be given a mask and wait in a special waiting room. Furthermore, they are referred to hospitals that have been appointed by the Ministry of Health to get further treatment.
dr. Arief also reminded the public to always maintain cleanliness and apply a healthy lifestyle, including washing hands, and avoiding people who cough or sneeze by closing the respiratory tract using their hands. (*)
Author: Nabila Amelia
Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia