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Am Surg ; 86(11): 1492-1500, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067009


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic significantly reduced elective surgery in the United States, but the impact of COVID-19 on acute surgical complaints and acute care surgery is unknown. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective review was performed of all surgical consults at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the 30 days prior to and 30 days following confirmation of the first COVID-19 patient at the institution. Consults to all divisions within general surgery were included. RESULTS: Total surgical consult volume decreased by 43% in the post-COVID-19 period, with a significant reduction in the median daily consult volume from 14 to 8 (P < .0001). Changes in consult volume by patient location, chief complaint, and surgical division were variable, in aggregate reflecting a disproportionate decrease among less acute surgical complaints. The percentage of consults resulting in surgical intervention remained equal in the 2 periods (31% vs 28%, odds ratio 0.85, 95% CI 0.61-1.21, P = .38) with most but not all operation types decreasing in frequency. The rise in the COVID-19 inpatient census led to increased consultation for vascular access, accommodated at our center by the creation of a new surgical procedures team. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic significantly altered the landscape of acute surgical complaints at our large academic hospital. An appreciation of these trends may be helpful to other Departments of Surgery around the country as they deploy staff and allocate resources in the COVID-19 era.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Acute Disease , Adult , Aged , Comorbidity , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
Ann Surg ; 272(3): e181-e186, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066507


OBJECTIVE: To determine the outcomes of patients undergoing tracheostomy for COVID-19 and of healthcare workers performing these procedures. BACKGROUND: Tracheostomy is often performed for prolonged endotracheal intubation in critically ill patients. However, in the context of COVID-19, tracheostomy placement pathways have been altered due to the poor prognosis of intubated patients and the risk of transmission to providers through this highly aerosolizing procedure. METHODS: A prospective single-system multi-center observational cohort study was performed on patients who underwent tracheostomy after acute respiratory failure secondary to COVID-19. RESULTS: Of the 53 patients who underwent tracheostomy, the average time from endotracheal intubation to tracheostomy was 19.7 days ±â€Š6.9 days. The most common indication for tracheostomy was acute respiratory distress syndrome, followed by failure to wean ventilation and post-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation decannulation. Thirty patients (56.6%) were liberated from the ventilator, 16 (30.2%) have been discharged alive, 7 (13.2%) have been decannulated, and 6 (11.3%) died. The average time from tracheostomy to ventilator liberation was 11.8 days ±â€Š6.9 days (range 2-32 days). Both open surgical and percutaneous dilational tracheostomy techniques were performed utilizing methods to mitigate aerosols. No healthcare worker transmissions resulted from performing the procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Alterations to tracheostomy practices and processes were successfully instituted. Following these steps, tracheostomy in COVID-19 intubated patients seems safe for both patients and healthcare workers performing the procedure.

COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Intubation, Intratracheal , Respiration, Artificial , Tracheostomy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult