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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 468-471

Changes in the emergency department dynamics during COVID-19 pandemic

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Darpanarayan Hazra
Department of Emergency Medicine, CMC, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_188_21

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In the past 20 years, several viral epidemics such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002 and 2003, H1N1 influenza in 2009, and Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus in 2012 have been recorded. The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has infected millions across the globe and has been a unique public health challenge with its increased rates of contagion and transmission. This outbreak was likely to have started from a zoonotic transmission event associated with a large sea-food market that also traded live wild animals. An exponential increase in the number of nonzoonotic cases in late December 2019, pointed toward the risk of human-to-human transmission. This led to a faster spread of infection and made the outbreak difficult to contain. The situation was unique in the busy Emergency Department (ED) of our institution, where regular emergency care could not be halted but had to be modified to accommodate COVID-19 confirmed and suspect patients. The ED needed to develop standard operating protocols to isolate and manage these patients, without putting other patients and health-care workers at risk of infection. This is a story of evolving practices in the ED of a leading tertiary care center of South India.

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