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Burns ; 47(7): 1547-1555, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575639


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has the potential to significantly impact burns patients both directly through infective complications of an immunocompromised cohort, and indirectly through disruption of care pathways and resource limitations. The pandemic presents new challenges that must be overcome to maintain patient safety; in particular, the potential increased risks of surgical intervention, anaesthesia and ventilation. This study comprehensively reviews the measures implemented to adapt referral pathways and mitigate the risk posed by COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic, within a large Burns Centre. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was designed to assess patients treated at the Burns Centre during the UK COVID-19 pandemic peak (April-May 2020), following implementation of new safety measures. All patients were analysed for 30-day mortality. In addition, a prospective controlled cohort study was undertaken on all inpatients and a random sample of outpatients with telephone follow-up at 30 days. These patients were divided into three groups (operative inpatients, non-operative inpatients, outpatients). COVID-19 related data collected included test results, contact with proven cases, isolation status and symptoms. The implemented departmental service COVID-19 safety adaptations are described. RESULTS: Of 323 patients treated at the Burns Centre during the study period, no 30-day COVID-19 related deaths occurred (0/323). Of the 80 patients analysed in the prospective controlled cohort section of the study, 51 underwent COVID-19 testing, 3.9% (2/51) were positive. Both cases were in the operative group, however in comparison to the non-operative and outpatient groups, there was no significant increase in COVID-19 incidence in operative patients. CONCLUSIONS: We found no COVID-19 related mortality during the study period. With appropriate precautions, burns patients were not exposed to an increased COVID-19 risk. Similarly, burns patients undergoing operative management were not at a significantly increased risk of contracting COVID-19 in comparison to non-operative groups.

Burns , COVID-19 , Patient Safety , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures , Burns/epidemiology , Burns/surgery , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Satisfaction , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
J Plast Surg Hand Surg ; 55(5): 315-321, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091388


BACKGROUND: Skin cancer represents the most common malignancy worldwide and it is imperative that we develop strategies to ensure safe and sustained delivery of cancer care which are resilient to the ongoing impact of COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: This study prospectively evaluates the COVID-19 related patient risk and skin cancer management at a single tertiary referral centre, which rapidly implemented national COVID-19 safety guidelines. METHOD: A prospective cohort study was performed in all patients who underwent surgery for elective skin cancer service management, during the UK COVID-19 pandemic peak (April-May 2020). 'Real-time' 30-day hospital database deceased data were collected. Random selection was undertaken for patients who either underwent operative (surgery group) management or remained on the waiting list (control group); these groups were also prospectively followed-up within a controlled cohort study design and telephoned at the end of June 2020 for the control group or 30 days post-operatively. RESULTS: Of the 767 patients who had operations, there were no COVID-19 related deaths. Both the surgery (n = 384) and control (n = 100) groups were matched for age, sex, ethnicity, BMI, presence of comorbidities, smoking and positive COVID-19 contact. There were no differences in post-operative versus any symptom development (1.3%, 5/384 vs. 4%, 4/100, p = 0.093), or proportion of positive tests (8.6%, 33/384 vs. 8%, 8/100; p = 0.849), between the surgery and control groups. CONCLUSION: These data support continued and safe service provision, and no increased risk to skin cancer patients who require surgical management, which is vital for continuation of cancer treatment in the context of a pandemic. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II.

COVID-19 , Skin Neoplasms , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Neoplasms/surgery