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Dentists continue services via teledentistry and with tighter protocols

first_imgThis article is part of The Jakarta Post’s “Forging the New Norm” special coverage series, on how people are forging their lives anew to adjust to the new realities of COVID-19 in Indonesia.Dentists and dental clinics in Indonesia are attempting to minimize the high risks they face amid the COVID-19 pandemic by embracing telemedicine and tighter health protocols in order to continue treating patients and to keep their businesses afloat.Dental procedures frequently generate formations of droplets and fine water particles in the air that can carry the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which may end up on the clothes of, or be inhaled by, both dental healthcare personnel and patients. Read also: Indonesian dentists walk on tightrope as practices forced to close due to COVID-19The Indonesian Dentists Association (PDGI) has advised the public not to see dentists unless for emergency or serious dental problems, such as oral bleeding or severe dental pain during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, the PDGI reported that six dentists had died of COVID-19 after treating patients.“Patients can understand their degrees of urgency by consulting the dentists virtually. It has never been more obvious that dental organizations must embrace teledentistry,” PDGI chair Sri Hananto Seno told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.Take pictures Many patients, including Intan Kurnia Marka, have decided to postpone going to the dentist. Intan, herself a 24-year-old dental student in Yogyakarta, has skipped her routine braces checkups during the outbreak. “A loose bracket is a common problem for people with braces but it doesn’t need emergency care. I fear the COVID-19 transmission more,” she said.Hananto said that patients nowadays might want to communicate with dentists online, especially if their dentists have established good relationships with them. Hananto, for example, asks his patients to take several pictures of their mouth and send them through WhatsApp so he can analyze the problem.“This is the closest we can get to solving the dilemma of whether to continue to work and keep earning or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” he said, adding that in outbreak epicenter Jakarta, the COVID-19 situation had prompted nearly 70 percent of dentists to stop practicing and lose their source of income.Hananto said the PDGI, which has 272 branches across the country, was also starting to collaborate with telemedicine apps such as Klikdokter and Halodoc so that dentists could register easily.Limited servicesDentistry, however, has yet to settle on an established new normal. Dentists and clinics are still grappling with how best to serve needy patients and the results are either a limited service or a costly one.Artist Yustiansyah Lesmana told the Post that his wife, whose gums had swollen, went to RE Martadinata Dental Naval Hospital in Central Jakarta on May 8 where she was asked to cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the medical workers in order to obtain emergency treatment. They did not use the national healthcare system BPJS Kesehatan because that system requires the patient to go see their nearest dentist first before being treated as a dental emergency in the hospital.“My wife was expected to pay Rp 500,000 [US$ 33.50] outside the treatment fees. We declined to see the dentist eventually,” he said. The couple spent hours, calling several dentists and clinics, to find a dentist that could treat Yustiansyah’s wife’s problem. Finally, they went to the University of Indonesia clinic in Salemba, where she left her number and was called and treated remotely by a dentist because the dental clinic was closed to visitors.RE Martadinata Dental Naval Hospital head Col. Agus Gamal Mulya said the policy of patients buying PPE for dentists applied to general patients, to partially cover the cost of PPE given the scarcity of protective gear in the first weeks of the outbreak and subsequent skyrocketing prices.“We needed to procure protective gear but were unable to do it without aid from other parties. A set of PPE cost around Rp 500,000 per staff member. Meanwhile, a patient with an emergency case is treated by two personnel, a doctor and a dental assistant. We decided to charge the patient for the PPE at half the cost if they agreed,” Agus told the Post on Tuesday.He added that the policy did not apply to patients covered by the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).Atika Nurmalia was also only able to obtain a limited dental service recently. Unable to bear the incessant pain from her swollen gums, the 24-year-old woman from Kudus regency in Central Java, decided to see a dentist, despite her fear of contracting COVID-19.When she visited the clinic, she went through a body temperature check and was told to maintain physical distance. However, she was surprised when she saw the dentist only wore a surgical mask and did not examine her mouth at all.“I was not told to open my mouth, I didn’t even remove my mask. I understand that must be dangerous to do especially as the dentist only wore a mask but what’s the point then of visiting the dentist?” she said. Her experience demonstrated the necessary shift in dental practice as some procedures may be now carried out without visiting a hospital or clinic.Tighter protocolsEndodontist Rio Suryantoro, who owns a clinic in Tebet, South Jakarta, said he had been conducting assessments regarding COVID-19 through WhatsApp as a routine procedure.“If a patient needs emergency care, we must first assess their condition and travel history in the last 14 days before agreeing to an arrangement. Meanwhile, all kinds of nonemergency practices should be postponed,” he told the Post.Rio added that even with such precheck measures, the risks were still high as long as the patients were not tested for COVID-19, especially as some COVID-19 patients could be showing no symptoms.“Now is a good time for dental professionals to learn about and improve infection control. All this time, both dental patients and staff could be exposed to various viruses and bacteria through direct or indirect contact with fluids, but even the standard precautions are often overlooked,” said Rio.The standard precautions in dental practices include hand hygiene, use of PPE such as gloves, masks and eyewear, safe injection practices, sterile instruments and a clean and disinfected environment.In the future, patients may expect to see all dental staff wearing gowns, masks, face shields, gloves and boots. Hananto of the PDGI said this protective gear was an absolute condition for any dentists who wanted to work during this pandemic.Hananto added, however, that not all dental healthcare personnel could afford protective gear. The PDGI has received 5,000 PPE items from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) and distributed them to several regions. This amount is far from enough to cover all 34,000 dentists across the country, according to Hananto.“Without an effective vaccine, the pandemic will last but we can’t stop working forever. The way to work is by wearing full protective gear,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Christchurch teens increasingly violent towards parents

first_imgNewstalk ZB 14 May 2013Christchurch teenagers are said to be increasingly violent towards their parents – and the earthquakes are being blamed.Staff at the Womens Refuge have noticed an increase in mainly male teenagers domestically abusing their family members – and it seems mothers are the first to cop it.Additional staff have had to be recruited due to increased demands like this at the refuge.Spokeswoman Julie McCloy says the increase has been over the past two years.“Perhaps what we’ve seen is just that accumulation of stress and maybe see young people who have grown up in a difficult or abusive environment and you add that extra stress to it, they don’t know how to handle their emotions.”Ms McCloy says it’s a worrying trend.“Over probably about 25 percent of the police reports we get there’ll be incidents where a young person is involved as a perpetrator of violence so that’s significant.”She says the youngest they’ve seen was 14-years-old.They’re not expecting the boom to drop off anytime soon.http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/wellington/news/regch/1804940486-worrying-trend-amongst-christchurch-teenslast_img read more

Badgers working on new techniques

first_imgThere’s an old sentiment in the sporting world that states the more experienced teams often perform the best. Don’t tell that to the Wisconsin volleyball team.After having practiced as a team for just a short time this spring, sophomore Kirby Toon was pleased with her team’s 25-23, 25-17, 25-21 victory Saturday over UW-Milwaukee.“We’ve only been practicing for about a week, so it’s looking pretty good,” Toon said. “We have a very young team with a lot of new players coming in.”The Badgers’ roster features many underclassmen and includes only three seniors.Head coach Pete Waite was also impressed by his young team’s performance. He highlighted a few keys to the win that they had practiced during the preceding week.“I thought our serve receive was pretty solid,” Waite said. “That’s something we’ve been working on during our individual workouts and team workouts.”The Badgers were aced just three times and committed only four receiving errors in total.Senior Allison Wack, who led the team with 17 kills in the match, agreed her team’s improved serve receiving was an integral part of their success.“We are just seeing better serve receive than last year,” Wack said. “Overall I think it was great. We’re working on a whole lot of new things and new techniques.”Waite explained some of the new ideas he and his staff have already started to implement.“We had Kirby Toon and Al Wack jump-serving with topspin, which was new for them. They did a nice job,” Waite said. “That always puts the opponent on their heels a little bit.”The new serving technique did seem to throw the Panthers off, allowing the Badgers to pick up several easy points throughout the match. Wisconsin recorded 11 aces, including two by Toon and four by Wack.UW-Milwaukee, however, also presented some unique challenges for the Badgers. The Panthers play in a slightly different way than Waite and his team is accustomed to seeing.“Milwaukee runs a very fast offense so they’re flying all over the place and they’re tough to keep up with,” Waite said. “As a bigger team from the Big Ten, we played a smaller team from the Horizon League that’s a great ball handling team and I think our ball handling stood up with theirs; it’s not an easy thing to do because every conference recruits in a different way.”Although the Badgers stood up to most of the challenges that Milwaukee presented, Waite and his players know there is still much to be learned.Waite specifically addressed the team’s struggles with maintaining a high hit percentage. The Badgers struggled in that statistical category, hitting only .141. In 2009, Wisconsin finished with a .172 percentage for the season.“Our hitting percentage needs to be better; we need to bring that up,” Waite said. “After a week of team training, that’s a really good reminder to us of what [we] need to focus on even more.”The Badgers are hoping they can improve in all areas this spring while also gaining valuable experience for the more trying fall season.“Our goal isn’t necessarily [about] the wins and the losses,” Toon said. “It’s to go out and improve every time we play.”last_img read more

Iowa Courts website adds multi-pay option

first_imgThere’s a new feature that will help those using the state’s busiest website complete transactions faster. Iowa Judicial System spokesman, Steve Davis, says there’s now a shopping cart feature on the pay site for Iowa Courts Online that allows you to bundle court fees.“You can pay multiple fines at one time instead of jumping back and forth between sites and having to do them one at a time,” Davis says. He says you still start by searching for any fines you owe at Iowa Courts Online site.“And then you can click on the individual case numbers and dig a little deeper and find the financials, and you can just then go through and find one case and say you’ll pay that and add it to your shopping cart. And then go back to the list of cases if there is more and find another case and pay for that,”Davis explains. Davis says the site allows for payments from all 99 counties — which makes it a heavily used site.“Iowa Courts Online is the most frequently visited website in state government,” according to Davis. Every year we have more than 538-million page views.” Davis says there is still the option to pay the old fashioned way.“Some people still go into the courthouse and pay their fines and restitution — but most people do it online — and that’s one of the reasons why the shopping cart was added, for more convenience for those people who do pay it online,” Davis says. Davis says the shopping cart is similar to what is used on most other online sites.last_img read more