The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) has prepared a statement in response to the national and institutional calls for the cessation of non-essential surgery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance is intended to complement, rather than replace, existing advice and should be considered “expert opinion.” ACPA will update this statement as the situation evolves. View the statement.
Because COVID-19 transmission is primarily through droplet spread, teams that perform procedures in the head and neck are at high risk for infection. Although many procedures performed by teams are important and somewhat time sensitive, national health care crisis will cause delays. The health and safety of patients, members, trainees and hospital teams are the top priority.
All providers should first consider individual circumstances and the best interests of their unique patients, as well as the constrained resources of their institutions. Hospital, local and regional regulatory bodies will determine the actual practice in each hospital or facility, and any additional restrictions that are applied by such bodies should supersede these guidelines.
ACPA Members can visit ACPA’s Online Community to join the discussion on handling care during the COVID-19 pandemic.