March 20, 2020

Limited Services and Hours at Fauquier ENT Due to COVID-19

On March 20, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery put out a global statement to all ENT physicians to limit patient care activities to only those individuals with time-sensitive, urgent, and emergent medical conditions.

As such, our office will immediately curtail services and limit clinic hours to abide by the recommendations made by our profession's governing body. All elective surgeries have already been cancelled until further notice. Allergy shots will no longer be administered until further notice.

We WILL continue to see patients in the office by appointment only for time-sensitive, urgent, and emergent medical conditions which would include throat cancer, neck mass, abscess, facial fractures, sudden hearing loss, acute ear or sinus pain, dizziness, etc. Our office will be open to see such patients every weekday morning, but will close in the afternoons which are reserved for telemedicine visits for non-urgent ENT medical issues.

Examples of non-urgent issues for which telemedicine visits can be arranged but office appointments will no longer be allowed include earwax, tinnitus, allergies, nasal congestion, chronic headaches, chronic cough, etc.

Please keep in mind that our office lacks the ability to test for COVID-19 and other URI illnesses. We also lack N95 and full PPE. As such, anyone with cough, fever, or shortness of breath will not be allowed an appointment and will be instructed to see their Primary Care Physician. If very ill, patients should go to the ER.

The complete statement by the AAO-HNS is as follows:
"Based on the most current compilation of information, the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery is recommending that all otolaryngologists limit providing patient care activities to those individuals with time-sensitive, urgent, and emergent medical conditions.

It is important that members of the medical community unite and work with the general population and regulatory agencies to minimize the risk of the SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission from human to human in order to limit the development of new cases. This strategy provides the best chance to not overwhelm facilities with a limited supply of hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, and other critical supplies. Additionally, until disposable medical supplies and protective equipment become more available, we must conserve these for use where they are needed most.

The Academy strongly recommends that all otolaryngologists provide only time-sensitive or emergent care. This includes both office-based and surgical care. The Academy recognizes that “time sensitivity” and “urgency” is determined by individual physician judgment and must always take into account each individual patient’s medical condition, social circumstances, and needs. We must respond to the pandemic crisis and support our colleagues and communities. Please be safe!"

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. He is also the chief medical officer of O2Labz, a medical and scientific 3D animation company.

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