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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