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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
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 75(2): 831-839, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458688


INTRODUCTION: In March 2020, South Wales experienced the most significant COVID-19 outbreak in the UK outside of London. We share our experience of the rapid redesign and subsequent change in activity in one of the busiest supra-regional burns and plastic surgery services in the UK. METHODS: A time-matched retrospective service evaluation was completed for a 7-week "COVID-19" study period and the equivalent weeks in 2018 and 2019. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate plastic surgery theatre use and the impact of service redesign. Comparison between study periods was tested for statistical significance using two-tailed t-tests. RESULTS: Operation numbers reduced by 64% and total operating time by 70%. General anaesthetic cases reduced from 41% to 7% (p<0.0001), and surgery was mainly carried out in ringfenced daycase theatres. Emergency surgery decreased by 84% and elective surgery by 46%. Cancer surgery as a proportion of total elective operating increased from 51% to 96% (p<0.0001). The absolute number of cancer-related surgeries undertaken was maintained despite the pandemic. CONCLUSION: Rapid development of COVID-19 SOPs minimised inpatient admissions. There was a significant decrease in operating while maintaining emergency and cancer surgery. Our ringfenced local anaesthetic Plastic Surgery Treatment Centre was essential in delivering a service. COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for service innovations and the uptake of activities such as telemedicine, virtual MDTs, and online webinars. Our experiences support the need for a core burns and plastic service during a pandemic, and show that the service can be effectively redesigned at speed.

Burns/surgery , COVID-19 , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Workload/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 74(1): 211-222, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-797199


INTRODUCTION: This study evaluates COVID-19 related patient risk, when undergoing management within one of the largest specialist centres in Europe, which rapidly implemented national COVID-19 safety guidelines. METHOD: A prospective cohort study was undertaken in all patients who underwent surgical (n = 1429) or non-operative (n = 191) management during the UK COVID-19 pandemic peak (April-May 2020); all were evaluated for 30-day COVID-19 related death. A representative sample of elective/trauma/burns patients (surgery group, n = 729) were selected and also sub-analysed within a controlled cohort study design. Comparison was made to a random selection of non-operatively managed (non-operative group, n = 100) or waiting list (control group, n = 250) patients. These groups were prospectively followed-up and telephoned from the end of June (control group) or at 30 days post-first assessment (non-operative group)/post-operatively (surgery group). RESULTS: Complex general (9.2%, 136/1483) or regional (5.0%, 74/1483) anaesthesia cases represented 14.2% (210/1483) of operations undertaken. There were no 30-day post-operative (0/1429)/first assessment (0/191) COVID-19 related deaths. Neither the three sub-speciality plastic surgery, or non-operative groups, displayed increases in post-operative/first assessment symptoms in comparison to each other, or to control. The proportion of COVID-19 positive tests were: 7.1% (1/14) (non-operative), 5.9% (2/34) (burns) and 3.0% (3/99) (trauma); there were however no significant differences between these groups, the elective (0%, 0/54) and control (0%, 0/24) groups (p = 0.236). CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that even heterogeneous sub-speciality patient groups, who required operative/non-operative management, did not incur an increased COVID-19 risk compared to each other or to control. These highly encouraging results were achieved with described, rapidly implemented service changes that were tailored to protect each patient group and staff.

Burns/surgery , COVID-19 , Elective Surgical Procedures , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures , Wounds and Injuries/surgery , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , England , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment