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J Surg Res ; 278: 267-270, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814826


INTRODUCTION: Many surgical societies have recently resumed in-person meetings after canceling or adopting virtual formats during the COVID-19 pandemic. These meetings implemented safety measures to limit viral exposure and ensure participant safety. While there have been anecdotal reports of COVID-19 cases after attendance, no large-scale assessments have been undertaken. The objective of this study was to evaluate COVID-19 positivity following an in-person surgical society meeting. METHODS: An online survey was administered to participants of the Society for Asian Academic Surgeons annual meeting, which was held in Chicago, Illinois in September 2021. This survey assessed vaccination status, in-person versus virtual conference attendance, and COVID-19 testing and symptoms in the 7 d immediately following the meeting. RESULTS: Among the 220 meeting participants, 173 attended in person (79%). There were 91 survey respondents (41% response rate): 67% attending physicians, 27% trainees, and 6% medical students. Nearly, all (99%) reported being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 testing was sought within 7 d of the meeting by 15% of in-person respondents, and all reported negative results. Among individuals who were not tested, no one reported development of symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, fever, new loss of taste/smell, etc.). CONCLUSIONS: Among in-person attendees of a recent surgical society meeting, no one reported positive COVID-19 testing after the meeting, and individuals who were not tested denied developing symptoms. While these results are encouraging, societies hosting meetings should continue to proactively assess the safety of in-person meetings to promptly identify outbreaks and opportunities for improvement.

Cancer ; 128(11): 2119-2125, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750341


BACKGROUND: Cancer-related deaths over the next decade are expected to increase due to cancer screening deficits associated with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although national deficits have been quantified, a structured response to identifying and addressing local deficits has not been widely available. The objectives of this report are to share preliminary data on monthly screening deficits in breast, colorectal, lung, and cervical cancers across diverse settings and to provide online materials from a national quality improvement (QI) study to help other institutions to address local screening deficits. METHODS: This prospective, national QI study on Return-to-Screening enrolled 748 accredited cancer programs in the United States from April through June 2021. Local prepandemic and pandemic monthly screening test volumes (MTVs) were used to calculate the relative percent change in MTV to describe the monthly screening gap. RESULTS: The majority of facilities reported monthly screening deficits (colorectal cancer, 80.6% [n = 104/129]; cervical cancer, 69.0% [n = 20/29]; breast cancer, 55.3% [n = 241/436]; lung cancer, 44.6% [n = 98/220]). Overall, the median relative percent change in MTV ranged from -17.7% for colorectal cancer (interquartile range [IQR], -33.6% to -2.8%), -6.8% for cervical cancer (IQR, -29.4% to 1.7%), -1.6% for breast cancer (IQR, -9.6% to 7.0%), and 1.2% for lung cancer (IQR, -16.9% to 19.0%). Geographic differences were not observed. There were statistically significant differences in the percent change in MTV between institution types for colorectal cancer screening (P = .02). CONCLUSION: Cancer screening is still in need of urgent attention, and the screening resources made available online may help facilities to close critical gaps and address screenings missed in 2020. LAY SUMMARY: Question: How can the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on cancer screening be mitigated? FINDINGS: When national resources were provided, including methods to calculate local screening deficits, 748 cancer programs promptly enrolled in a national Return-to-Screening study, and the majority identified local screening deficits, most notably in colorectal cancer. Using these results, 814 quality improvement projects were initiated with the potential to add 70,000 screening tests in 2021. Meaning: Cancer screening is still in need of urgent attention, and the online resources that we provide may help to close critical screening deficits.

Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Lung Neoplasms , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/prevention & control , Early Detection of Cancer/methods , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Quality Improvement , United States/epidemiology , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology