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1.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0256544, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374151

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represent a vulnerable population potentially negatively affected by COVID-19-associated reallocation of healthcare resources. Here, we report the impact of COVID-19 on the management of HCC patients in a large tertiary care hospital. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data of HCC patients who presented at the Vienna General Hospital, between 01/DEC/2019 and 30/JUN/2020. We compared patient care before (period 1) and after (period 2) implementation of COVID-19-associated healthcare restrictions on 16/MAR/2020. RESULTS: Of 126 patients, majority was male (n = 104, 83%) with a mean age of 66±11 years. Half of patients (n = 57, 45%) had impaired liver function (Child-Pugh stage B/C) and 91 (72%) had intermediate-advanced stage HCC (BCLC B-D). New treatment, was initiated in 68 (54%) patients. Number of new HCC diagnoses did not differ between the two periods (n = 14 vs. 14). While personal visits were reduced, an increase in teleconsultation was observed (period 2). Number of patients with visit delays (n = 31 (30%) vs. n = 10 (10%); p = 0.001) and imaging delays (n = 25 (25%) vs. n = 7 (7%); p = 0.001) was higher in period 2. Accordingly, a reduced number of patients was discussed in interdisciplinary tumor boards (lowest number in April (n = 24), compared to a median number of 57 patients during period 1). Median number of elective/non-elective admissions was not different between the periods. One patient contracted COVID-19 with lethal outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in patient care included reduced personal contacts but increased telephone visits, and delays in diagnostic procedures. The effects on long-term outcome need to be determined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/diagnosis , Liver Neoplasms/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/drug therapy , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/mortality , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/pathology , Delayed Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Liver Neoplasms/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Pandemics , Patients/psychology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Survival Rate , Telemedicine , Tertiary Care Centers
2.
Hepatol Commun ; 5(10): 1660-1675, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233191

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic necessitated down-scaling of in-hospital care to prohibit the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2. We (1) assessed patient perceptions on quality of care by telesurvey (cohort 1) and written questionnaire (cohort 2), and (2) analyzed trends in elective and nonelective admissions before (December 2019 to February 2020) and during (March to May 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria. A total of 279 outpatients were recruited into cohort 1 and 138 patients into cohort 2. All admissions from December 2019 to May 2020 to the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at the Vienna General Hospital were analyzed. A total of 32.6% (n = 91 of 279) of cohort 1 and 72.5% (n = 95 of 131) of cohort 2 had telemedical contact, whereas 59.5% (n = 166 of 279) and 68.2% (n = 90 of 132) had face-to-face visits. A total of 24.1% (n = 32 of 133) needed acute medical help during health care restrictions; however, 57.3% (n = 51 of 89) reported that contacting their physician during COVID-19 was difficult or impossible. Patient-reported satisfaction with treatment decreased significantly during restrictions in cohort 1 (visual analog scale [VAS] 0-10: 9.0 ± 1.6 to 8.6 ± 2.2; P < 0.001) and insignificantly in cohort 2 (VAS 0-10: 8.9 ± 1.6 to 8.7 ± 2.1; P = 0.182). Despite fewer hospital admissions during COVID-19, the proportion of nonelective admissions (+6.3%) and intensive care unit admissions (+6.7%) increased. Patients with cirrhosis with nonelective admissions during COVID-19 had significantly higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) (25.5 [14.2] vs. 17.0 [interquartile range: 8.8]; P = 0.003) and ΔMELD (difference from last MELD: 3.9 ± 6.3 vs. 8.7 ± 6.4; P = 0.008), required immediate intensive care more frequently (26.7% vs. 5.6%; P = 0.034), and had significantly increased 30-day liver-related mortality (30.0% vs. 8.3%; P = 0.028). Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic's effects on quality of liver care is evident from decreased patient satisfaction, hospitalization of sicker patients with advanced chronic liver disease, and increased liver-related mortality. Strategies for improved telemedical liver care and preemptive treatment of cirrhosis-related complications are needed to counteract the COVID-19-associated restrictions of in-hospital care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastroenterology , Liver Diseases/therapy , Patient Satisfaction , Quality of Health Care , Telemedicine , Aged , Austria , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/mortality , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/therapy , Chronic Disease , Delivery of Health Care , End Stage Liver Disease , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Liver Diseases/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/therapy , Liver Transplantation , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Surveys and Questionnaires
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