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Lancet Oncol ; 21(7): e350-e359, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593280


The speed and scale of the global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented pressures on health services worldwide, requiring new methods of service delivery during the health crisis. In the setting of severe resource constraint and high risk of infection to patients and clinicians, there is an urgent need to identify consensus statements on head and neck surgical oncology practice. We completed a modified Delphi consensus process of three rounds with 40 international experts in head and neck cancer surgical, radiation, and medical oncology, representing 35 international professional societies and national clinical trial groups. Endorsed by 39 societies and professional bodies, these consensus practice recommendations aim to decrease inconsistency of practice, reduce uncertainty in care, and provide reassurance for clinicians worldwide for head and neck surgical oncology in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the setting of acute severe resource constraint and high risk of infection to patients and staff.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/surgery , Health Care Rationing , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Surgical Oncology/standards , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Consensus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Head and Neck Neoplasms/diagnosis , Head and Neck Neoplasms/pathology , Humans , International Cooperation , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Oncology/organization & administration
Head Neck ; 42(7): 1674-1680, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-291714


BACKGROUND: Outpatient telemedicine consultations are being adopted to triage patients for head and neck cancer. However, there is currently no established structure to frame this consultation. METHODS: For suspected referrals with cancer, we adapted the Head and Neck Cancer Risk Calculator (HaNC-RC)-V.2, generated from 10 244 referrals with the following diagnostic efficacy metrics: 85% sensitivity, 98.6% negative predictive value, and area under the curve of 0.89. For follow-up patients, a symptom inventory generated from 5123 follow-up consultations was used. A customized Excel Data Tool was created, trialed across professional groups and made freely available for download at, alongside a user guide, protocol, and registration link for the project. Stakeholder support was obtained from national bodies. RESULTS: No remote consultations were refused by patients. Preliminary data from 511 triaging episodes at 13 centers show that 77.1% of patients were discharged directly or have had their appointments deferred. DISCUSSION: Significant reduction in footfall can be achieved using a structured triaging system. Further refinement of HaNC-RC-V.2 is feasible and the authors welcome international collaboration.

Continuity of Patient Care , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/diagnosis , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Risk Assessment/methods , Triage/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Evidence-Based Practice , Humans , Medical Oncology/methods , Pandemics , Predictive Value of Tests , Remote Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Symptom Assessment , United Kingdom/epidemiology