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1.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292937

ABSTRACT

Introduction: As COVID-19 roared through the world, governments worldwide enforced containment measures that affected various treatment pathways, including those for hip fracture (HF). This study aimed to measure process and outcome indicators related to the quality of care provided to non-COVID-19 elderly patients affected by HF in Emilia-Romagna, a region of Italy severely hit by the pandemic. Methods. We collected the hospital discharge records of all patients admitted to the hospitals of Emilia-Romagna with a diagnosis of HF from January to May in the years 2019/2020. We analyzed surgery rate, surgery timeliness, length of hospital stay, timely rehabilitation, and 30-day mortality for each HF patient. We evaluated monthly data (2020 vs. 2019) with the chi-square and t-test, where appropriate. Logistic regression was used to investigate the differences in 30-day mortality. Results. Our study included 5379 patients with HF. In April and May 2020, there was a significant increase in the proportion of HF patients that did not undergo timely surgery. In March 2020, we found a significant increase in mortality (OR = 2.22). Female sex (OR = 0.52), age ≥90 years (OR = 4.33), surgery after 48 hours (OR = 3.08) and not receiving surgery (OR = 6.19) were significantly associated with increased mortality. After adjusting for the aforementioned factors, patients hospitalized in March 2020 still suffered higher mortality (OR = 2.21). Conclusions. Our results show a reduction in the overall quality of care provided to non-COVID-19 elderly patients affected by HF. The mortality rate of patients with HF increased significantly in March 2020. Patients' characteristics and variations in processes of care partially explained this increase. Our analysis reveals the importance of including process and outcomes indicators, for both acute and post-acute care management issues, in emergency preparedness plans, to monitor healthcare systems' capacities and capabilities.

2.
Ann Med ; 53(1): 1924-1934, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493393

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has forced healthcare providers to reorganize their activities to protect the population from infection, postponing or suspending many medical procedures. Patients affected by chronic conditions were among the most affected. In the case of catastrophes, women have a higher lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and those with endometriosis have higher anxiety levels, making them fragile in such circumstances. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, conducted in May 2020, we considered all women aged ≥18 years, followed up at our referral centre for endometriosis. Patients were sent an anonymous 6-section questionnaire via email, containing different validated tools for the evaluation of anxiety levels and the risk of PTSD. A multivariable linear regression was performed to assess the impact of patients' characteristics on the distress caused by the SARS-COV-2 pandemic. RESULTS: Among the 468 women recruited, 68.8% were quite-to-extremely worried about not being able to access gynaecologic care, with almost one-third of them scoring ≥33 on the IES-R. Older age and increased levels of anxiety were associated with higher risks of PTSD (age: b = 0.28, 95% CI = 0.12 - 0.44; GAD-7: b = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.38 - 2.05), with up to 71.8% of patients with severe anxiety (GAD-7 > 15) having an IES-R score ≥33 suggestive for PTSD. Women who could leave home to work showed lower levels of PTSD (b = -4.79, 95% CI = -8.44 to - 1.15, ref. unemployed women). The implementation of telemedicine in routine clinical practice was favourably viewed by 75.6% of women. DISCUSSION: Women with endometriosis are particularly exposed to the risk of PTSD during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, especially if they are older or have higher levels of anxiety. Gynaecologists should resort to additional strategies, and telemedicine could represent a feasible tool to help patients cope with this situation.KEY MESSAGESThe COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the lives of women with endometriosis, who appeared to have a considerable risk of PTSD.Older age, higher anxiety levels and unemployment were independently associated with the risk of developing PTSD.Clinicians should develop successful alternative strategies to help patients cope with this situation, and telemedicine might represent an applicable and acceptable solution.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Endometriosis/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Adult , Age Factors , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/etiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Cross-Sectional Studies , Endometriosis/psychology , Female , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Humans , Internet/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prevalence , Risk Management , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , Young Adult
3.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(10): e364-e369, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1414164

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To date, there are only sporadic reports of acute abdomen and appendicitis in children with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). METHODS: Children 17 years of age or younger assessed in 5 Latin American countries with a diagnosis of microbiologically confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and children fulfilling MIS-C definition were included. For children with acute abdomen, we investigate main radiologic patterns, surgical treatment and intraoperative findings, outcomes. FINDINGS: One-thousand ten children were enrolled. Forty-two children (4.2%) had a clinical diagnosis of acute abdomen. Four (9.5%) were diagnosed with MIS-C and did not undergo surgery. The remaining 38 children (3.8%) underwent abdominal surgery due to suspected appendicitis, 34 of them (89.7%) had an intraoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis (AA), while 4 of them had nonsurgical findings. Eight children died (0.8%), none of them being diagnosed with appendicitis. Children with AA were significantly older than those without (P < 0.0001). Children with complicated appendicitis had more frequently fever (85.7% vs. 60%), intestinal distension on the abdominal radiograph (7.1% vs. none), leukocytosis (85.7% vs. 40%) and high levels of C-reactive protein (35.7% vs. 5%), although differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that children may present with acute abdomen during COVID-19 or MIS-C, which is not always associated with intraoperative findings of appendicitis, particularly in case of MIS-C. Further studies are needed to better characterize children with acute abdomen during COVID-19 or MIS-C, to avoid delay in diagnosis of surgical conditions and at the same time, minimize unnecessary surgical approaches.


Subject(s)
Abdomen, Acute/etiology , Abdomen, Acute/virology , Appendicitis/etiology , Appendicitis/virology , COVID-19/complications , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/etiology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology , Adolescent , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Latin America , Male , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
4.
Int J Health Policy Manag ; 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409624

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To assess whether the imposition of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) national quarantine (March 10, 2020) resulted in a shift in the proportion of patients operated for hip fracture on the day of admission, the following day and two days after admission in the region of Piedmont, northern Italy. METHODS: Interrupted time-series analysis (ITSA) comparing hospitalization rate and timing of hip-fracture surgeries between pre- and post-quarantine period. The same data observed in Piedmont the year before were included as a control time series with no "intervention" (quarantine) in the middle of the observation period. RESULTS: We found that 70.3% and 69.4% of hip-fracture patients received surgery within 2 days of hospital admission in the 16 weeks before and after the national quarantine, respectively. One-day surgery went from 46.0% to 46.5%, and same-day surgery from 13.3% to 12.4%. Unchanged trends were confirmed by ITSA after controlling for the 32-week time-series observed the year before. In the second week of March 2020, there was a borderline significant decrease in weekly hospital admissions for hip fractures as compared with that of the same week of March 2019 (-1.95 per 100 000, 95% CI = -4.10 to 0.21, P value = .075), followed by a weekly significant increase in the hospitalization rate (+0.14 per 100 000, 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.27, P value = .039), although the difference-in-differences of slopes failed to achieve statistical significance (0.19 per 100 000, 95% CI = -0.03 to 0.41, P value = .090). CONCLUSION: Our study shows that the timing of hip-fracture surgery was unchanged during the lockdown period. This suggests that the healthcare systems can be resilient and able to guarantee a high-quality and safe healthcare to hip-fracture patients, even in the most challenging working conditions.

5.
EClinicalMedicine ; 38: 101027, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397309

ABSTRACT

Background: In August 2020, Sputnik V was registered as Gam-COVID-Vac by the Russian Ministry of Health, and since December 2020 it has been distributed in 61 countries worldwide. On 25 February 2021, the Republic of San Marino started its vaccination campaign, which includes Sputnik V. Our aim was to describe the adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) with this vaccine through participant-based active surveillance in the country. Methods: Beginning from 4 March to 8 April 2021, a nationwide study was conducted on San Marino's population aged 18-89 years who received one or two doses of Sputnik V. E-questionnaire dissemination occurred through e-mails, QR-codes or live/phone interviews ~7 days after the first and second vaccine dose. A descriptive analysis was conducted to quantify AEFI incidence on both occasions, stratifying results by type and severity of symptoms. Findings: Mean age of the 2558 vaccine recipients was 66±14 years. First-dose AEFI incidence was 53.3% (systemic reactions at 42.2%), while second-dose AEFI incidence was 66.8% (systemic reactions at 50.4%) (n = 1288). In general, 76.0% of two-dose recipients reported some AEFIs after either vaccine dose, and 2.1% suffered severe reactions; in 60- to 89-year-olds (n = 1021), AEFI incidence was 70.0%, with 53.0% of subjects describing systemic reactions and 0.8% reporting severe symptoms. The most frequent symptoms were local pain, asthenia, headache and joint pain. Interpretation: Our results, albeit preliminary, suggest that Sputnik V has a high tolerability profile in the population aged ≥60 years in terms of short-term AEFIs. Funding: None.

6.
PeerJ ; 9: e12046, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381458

ABSTRACT

Background: It is of great importance to examine the impact of the healthcare reorganization adopted to confront the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of care provided to non-COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 national lockdown (March 9, 2020) on the quality of care provided to patients with hip fracture (HF) in Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, two large regions of northern Italy severely hit by the pandemic. Methods: We calculated the percentage of HF patients undergoing surgery within 2 days of hospital admission. An interrupted time-series analysis was performed on weekly data from December 11, 2019 to June 9, 2020 (≈6 months), interrupting the series in the 2nd week of March. The same data observed the year before were included as a control time series with no "intervention" (lockdown) in the middle of the observation period. Results: Before the lockdown, 2-day surgery was 69.9% in Piedmont and 79.2% in Emilia-Romagna; after the lockdown, these proportions were equal to 69.8% (-0.1%) and 69.3% (-9.9%), respectively. While Piedmont did not experience any drop in the amount of surgery, Emilia-Romagna exhibited a significant decline at a weekly rate of -1.29% (95% CI [-1.71 to -0.88]). Divergent trend patterns in the two study regions reflect local differences in pandemic timing as well as in healthcare services capacity, management, and emergency preparedness.

9.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 130, 2021 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259211

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic led to significant lifestyle changes for children and adolescents mainly related to the closure of schools and recreational activities, reduced social interaction, and increased family concerns. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey of 78 questions investigating social determinants of health, mood changes, symptoms of anxiety, increase in sleep disorders and unusual repetitive movements was offered to parents living in Italy with children ≤18 years; including families of children with disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, chronic diseases, and specific learning disabilities. The survey was conducted on the Qualtrics platform 6 months after the beginning of the pandemic and distributed in hospitals and paediatricians' waiting rooms as well as through social networks. The primary outcomes were the increase in sleep disorders among children and adolescents. Possible risk factors were investigated through multivariable regression. RESULTS: Six thousand two hundred ten volunteer parents responded to the questions concerning mood changes, sleep disorders and unusual repetitive movements, and were included in the present study. The majority were female (91.8%) and Italian (97.0%). 72.7% answered that their children had become more nervous, worried, or sad (80.2% in children with learning disabilities); 77.6% reported feelings of loneliness and 69.3% more difficulties in children falling asleep, 30.2% in staying asleep, and 18.7% an increase in nightmares and/or sleep terrors. Statistical analysis identified socioeconomic status, parent's job loss, food insecurity, family attitude toward the pandemic, and children's mood swing, feelings of loneliness, or missing outdoor activities, as major risk factors for sleep disorders. CONCLUSION: The first Covid-19 lockdown impacted children's and adolescents' health through an increase in sleep disorders. In the following phases of the pandemic, this evidence may be useful to investigate and treat these disorders as well as make decisions about containment health policies concerning this age group.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/psychology , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Surveys and Questionnaires
10.
Acta Paediatr ; 110(6): 1902-1910, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142869

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study aims to assess rates of antibiotic prescriptions and its determinants in in children with COVID-19 or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). METHODS: Children <18 years-old assessed in five Latin Americas countries with a diagnosis of COVID-19 or MIS-C were enrolled. Antibiotic prescriptions and factors associated with their use were assessed. RESULTS: A total of 990 children were included: 921 (93%) with COVID-19, 69 (7.0%) with MIS-C. The prevalence of antibiotic use was 24.5% (n = 243). MIS-C with (OR = 45.48) or without (OR = 10.35) cardiac involvement, provision of intensive care (OR = 9.60), need for hospital care (OR = 6.87), pneumonia and/or ARDS detected through chest X-rays (OR = 4.40), administration of systemic corticosteroids (OR = 4.39), oxygen support, mechanical ventilation or CPAP (OR = 2.21), pyrexia (OR = 1.84), and female sex (OR = 1.50) were independently associated with increased use of antibiotics. There was significant variation in antibiotic use across the hospitals. CONCLUSION: Our study showed a high rate of antibiotic prescriptions in children with COVID-19, in particular in those with severe disease or MIS-C. Prospective studies are needed to provide better evidence on the recognition and management of bacterial infections in COVID-19 children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Child , Female , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Prescriptions , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
11.
MethodsX ; 8: 101257, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062519

ABSTRACT

Mortality due to massive events like the COVID-19 pandemic is underestimated because of several reasons, among which the impossibility to track all positive cases and the inadequacy of coding systems are presumably the most relevant. Therefore, the most affordable method to estimate COVID-19-related mortality is excess mortality (EM). Very often, though, EM is calculated on large spatial units that may entail different EM patterns and without stratifying deaths by age or sex, while, especially in the case of epidemics, it is important to identify the areas that suffered a higher death toll or that were spared. We developed the Stata COVID19_EM.ado procedure that estimates EM within municipalities in six subgroups defined by sex and age class using official data provided by ISTAT (Italian National Statistics Bureau) on deaths occurred from 2015 to 2020. Using simple linear regression models, we estimated the mortality trend in each age-and-sex subgroup and obtained the expected deaths of 2020 by extrapolating the linear trend. The results are then displayed using choropleth maps. Subsequently, local autocorrelation maps, which allow to appreciate the presence of local clusters of high or low EM, may be obtained using an R procedure that we developed.•We focused on estimating excess mortality in small-scale spatial units (municipalities) and in population strata defined by age and sex.•This method gives a deeper insight on excess mortality than summary figures at regional or national level, enabling to identify the local areas that suffered the most and the high-risk population subgroups within them.•This type of analysis could be replicated on different time frames, which might correspond to successive epidemic waves, as well as to periods in which containment measures were enforced and for different age classes; moreover, it could be applied in every instance of mortality crisis within a region or a country.

12.
Acta Biomed ; 91(4): e2020144, 2020 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Testing represents one of the main pillars of public health response to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic. This paper shows how accuracy and utility of testing programs depend not just on the type of tests, but on the context as well. METHODS: We describe the testing methods that have been developed and the possible testing strategies; then, we focus on two possible methods of population-wide testing, i.e., pooled testing and testing with rapid antigen tests. We show the accuracy of split-pooling method and how, in different pre-test probability scenarios, the positive and negative predictive values vary using rapid antigen tests. RESULTS: Split-pooling, followed by retesting of negative results, shows a higher sensitivity than individual testing and requires fewer tests. In case of low pre-test probability, a negative result with antigen test could allow to rule out the infection, while, in case of a positive result, a confirmatory molecular test would be necessary. CONCLUSIONS: Test performance alone is not enough to properly choose which test to use; goals and context of the testing program are essential. We advocate the use of pooled strategies when planning population-wide screening, and the weekly use of rapid tests for close periodic monitoring in low-prevalence populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , ROC Curve , Reproducibility of Results
13.
Health Place ; 67: 102508, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1019063

ABSTRACT

The impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on mortality in Italy has been described at the regional level, while less is known about mortality in municipalities, although the spatial distribution of COVID-19 in its first wave has been uneven. We aimed to describe the excess mortality due to COVID-19 from February 23rd to April 30th, 2020 in the three most affected Italian regions, in age and gender subgroups within each municipality. Excess mortality varied widely among municipalities even within the same region; it was higher among the elderly and higher in males except in the ≥75 age group. Thus, nearby municipalities may show a different mortality burden despite being under common regional health policies, possibly as a result of local reinforcements of regional policies. Identifying the municipalities where mortality was higher and the pathways used by the virus to spread may help to concentrate efforts in understanding the reasons why this happened and to identify the frailest areas in light of recurrences of the epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mortality/trends , Spatial Analysis , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Child , Child, Preschool , Cities , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Sex Factors , Young Adult
14.
Nutrients ; 13(1)2020 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006938

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and subsequent containment measures are causing an increase in food insecurity (FI) worldwide, with direct consequences on children's nutrition. We aimed to investigate the effects of the lockdown imposed in Italy on FI and changes in eating habits and body weight in the pediatric population 6 months after the beginning of the pandemic through a cross-sectional online survey proposed to parents of children <18 and living in Italy. Among 5811 respondents, most of whom were Italian, living in Northern Italy, and with a wealthy household economy, 8.3% reported that their families were at risk of FI before the appearance of SARS-CoV-2 and, alarmingly, this percentage increased to 16.2% after the pandemic began, with households from Southern Italy being more at risk. Moreover, 27.3% of the parents reported that their children were eating more; an increase in "junk food" consumption was also found; 31.8% of the respondents declared an increase in children's weight; weight loss prevailed among adolescents. Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is again requiring restrictions, our findings might serve as a warning to politicians to promote healthy lifestyles and provide assistance to the groups in need.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Insecurity , Pandemics , Parents , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged
16.
J Clin Med ; 9(5)2020 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276330

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. As of 17 April 2020, more than 2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide. Northern Italy is one of the world's centers of active coronavirus cases. In this study, we predicted the spread of COVID-19 and its burden on hospital care under different conditions of social distancing in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, the two regions of Italy most affected by the epidemic. To do this, we used a Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered (SEIR) deterministic model, which encompasses compartments relevant to public health interventions such as quarantine. A new compartment L was added to the model for isolated infected population, i.e., individuals tested positives that do not need hospital care. We found that in Lombardy restrictive containment measures should be prolonged at least until early July to avoid a resurgence of hospitalizations; on the other hand, in Emilia-Romagna the number of hospitalized cases could be kept under a reasonable amount with a higher contact rate. Our results suggest that territory-specific forecasts under different scenarios are crucial to enhance or take new containment measures during the epidemic.

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