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NICE publishes second set of rapid COVID-19 guidelines

As of this morning – Wednesday April 2 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 29,474, with 2,352 deaths.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its second set of rapid guidelines to cover the provision of radiotherapy services and bone marrow transplant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines advise clinicians on modifying care to reduce patients’ exposure to COVID-19 and how to balance the risks and benefits of treatment during the pandemic.

For delivering radiotherapy, the guideline recommends avoiding treatment if the evidence suggests there will be little to no benefit or if an alternative treatment is available, to defer radiotherapy if clinically appropriate, and if radiotherapy treatment is unavoidable, to use the shortest safe form of treatment.

The new advice on bone marrow transplant is for clinicians to consider both the severity of the disease and the post-transplant risks of COVID-19 when deciding on treatment plans.

For patients due to receive an allogenic transplant, it recommends that clinicians defer most non-urgent cases and patients with chronic blood cancers, until the pandemic has passed.

Wash your hands frequently:

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Maintain social distancing:

Maintain at least two metres (six feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early:

Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

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