Local surgeon changes treatment options to support health care workers on the front lines

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DENVER (KDVR) — Some local surgeons are changing the way they treat patients in an effort to support their colleagues on the front lines of this pandemic.

Dr. Khemarin Seng is not testing or treating COVID-19 patients at the emergency room, but responding to broken bones, infections and joint pain is still considered essential work.

“Orthopedics has a role in this, we don’t have a front line role, but we want to do the best that we can to decompress the system,” Dr. Seng said. 

To alleviate the stress of this COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Seng’s office, BoulderCentre for Orthopedics & Spine, is trying to divert patients away from the emergency room and direct them to their office.

“We’re trying to sort of keep our offices open for urgent care and emergent care,” Seng said.

There are safety precautions in place at their same day care center. They have heightened cleaning and have asked limited staff and patients to come alone.

The group is also offering a Telehealth option. Non-emergency injuries or conditions are assessed from a social distance with video calls.

“We can watch a patient walk, we can watch a patient get up from a chair, look at the skin, so there’s a lot of things we can do to determine the need of coming in and not coming in,” Dr. Seng said.

Seng says Telehealth visits have increased drastically with the pandemic and it is having a positive effect at the hospitals.

“I think the volume of patients coming into the emergency rooms is less,” Dr. Seng said, adding that “There’s sort of a moral code, a responsibility to society at this point, and I think there’s a good give and take on who needs to come in.”

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