At Fertility Solutions our primary concern is, and always will be, the health and safety of our patients and our team. Considering recent news on Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are sharing the following policy to update all with the specific actions we are taking to ensure their health and safety. To minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we are asking for all to assist by following the instructions below.
Covid-19 (Coronavirus-CV) has arrived in Australia and Government estimates suggest that approximately 25% of the Australian population will become infected in the first wave (next few months). While the disease is mild in 80% of infected individuals, fatalities are not uncommon in the elderly population (up to 15%), and deaths have also been recorded in fit and healthy young individuals. As such Fertility Solutions Buderim and Bundaberg must initiate plans to minimise the risk of transmission of CV from patients to staff, patient to patients and staff to patients.
CV can live on surfaces for many hours, possibly even days. While it is not possible to contract the virus from touching an infected surface, if the virus is present on an individual’s hands and they touch their mouth/nose or eyes it can enter the body and initiate an infection. Furthermore, CV is present in respiratory droplets and as such coughing/ sneezing near others can spread the disease. It is for these reasons that symptomatic individuals (cough, sneeze, runny nose) are most likely to be the highest infection risk to others. Asymptomatic infected people may pose some infectivity risk, but this is likely significantly lower for casual social interaction.
Risk Minimisation Policy
To minimise the transmission of CV from infected surfaces we are taking the following steps:
1. Repeatedly sanitize high traffic surfaces which are touched by multiple people
2. Avoid use of multiple use equipment with significant infection transmission risk. We have ceased using glass or ceramics drinking vessels and have moved to disposable cups.
3. Shared work locations such as computers pose a high risk. Keyboards and telephone receivers are to be sanitized between users.
To minimise the risk of clients/patients transmitting CV to staff or other clients/patients:
As the CV is now present in Australia, we will need to move to risk classification based on recent travel, symptoms and recent contact with a person known to have CV.
1. All patients must notify the clinic of any travel plans overseas.
2. All patients who have recently returned from any overseas travels, or had contact with someone who has positively tested for COVID-19, should not book to commence a treatment cycle until you have been in self-quarantine for 14 days after last contact, or after returning from travel.
3. On contact with the clinic, patients will be asked if they have recently travelled overseas in the past 14 days, any CV symptoms or contact with a CV patient in the last 14 days. If they have then a decision needs to be made based on the risk.
4. All patients will have their temperature taken at reception on arrival. If the temperature is recorded as > 37.5 degrees Celsius patients will be asked to leave the clinic and instructed to contact their GP or local emergency department.
5. Patients with any respiratory or viral symptoms must contact the clinic by phone and are asked not to present to the clinic for any appointments. If a patient presentation to the clinic with any concerning symptoms they may be asked to leave the clinic and reschedule their appointment.
6. Increasing personal hygiene.
- All patients* needs to use the sanitizing station prior to entering the clinic (*Patients having procedure i.e. Egg collections, Surgical Sperm Collection or collection of semen via masturbation, Embryo transfers, should not use hand sanitizing stations prior to procedures. They will be taken to an area and asked to wash their hands).
- All patients are reminded of the basic personal hygiene requirements such as cover your cough and sneeze and dispose of tissues, and frequent use alcohol-based hand sanitiser or hand washing
7. Until further notice all suitable consultations with a nurse will take place via the phone or skype.
8. All scans on patients will be performed within 10 minutes to minimise any risk of exposure to the virus.
9. Patients who are already in a stimulated IVF cycle who develop upper respiratory track symptoms will need to be discussed with the Medical director to assess if they proceed with egg collection and transfer. These patients should consider freezing all oocytes or embryos and avoid an embryo transfer until they are shown to be disease-free.
10. Patients in a FET cycle or IUI cycle who develop upper respiratory tract symptoms will need to be discussed with the Medical director to assess if they proceed.
NOTE: Any patients who have treatments cancelled due to COVID-19 related matters will not be financially penalised.
IMPORTANT: Fertility Solutions is not equipped to test patients for COVID-19 and will not be performing COVID-19 swab testing under any circumstances.
- Coronavirus hotline: 1800 020080
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy (CIDRAP). If you want daily updates as to what the public is being told – the ABC has a daily podcast called Coronacast which will keep you up to date with information available to the public. Click here to listen>
- World Health Organization (WHO)
We wish to reassure all our patients that the team at Fertility Solutions are continuing to monitor developments to minimise impacts on our day to day business operations. We will continue to keep our patients and staff up to date by way of our website and social media platforms, as well as direct contact. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.