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1.
BMC Gastroenterol ; 22(1): 19, 2022 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622211

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During a global crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic, delayed admission to hospital in cases of emergent medical illness may lead to serious adverse consequences. We aimed to determine whether such delayed admission affected the severity of an inflammatory process regarding acute appendicitis, and its convalescence. METHODS: In a retrospective observational cohort case-control study, we analyzed the medical data of 60 patients who were emergently and consecutively admitted to our hospital due to acute appendicitis as established by clinical presentation and imaging modalities, during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic (our study group). We matched a statistically control group consisting of 97 patients who were admitted during a previous 12-month period for the same etiology. All underwent laparoscopic appendectomy. The main study parameters included intraoperative findings (validated by histopathology), duration of abdominal pain prior to admission, hospital stay and postoperative convalescence (reflecting the consequences of delay in diagnosis and surgery). RESULTS: The mean duration of abdominal pain until surgery was significantly longer in the study group. The rate of advanced appendicitis (suppurative and gangrenous appendicitis as well as peri-appendicular abscess) was greater in the study than in the control group (38.3 vs. 21.6%, 23.3 vs. 16.5%, and 5 vs. 1% respectively), as well as mean hospital stay. CONCLUSIONS: A global crisis like the current viral pandemic may significantly affect emergent admissions to hospital (as in case of acute appendicitis), leading to delayed surgical interventions and its consequences.


Subject(s)
Appendicitis , COVID-19 , Laparoscopy , Acute Disease , Appendectomy , Appendicitis/diagnosis , Appendicitis/epidemiology , Appendicitis/surgery , Case-Control Studies , Delayed Diagnosis , Humans , Length of Stay , Pandemics , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
S Afr Med J ; 111(11): 1050-1054, 2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538769

ABSTRACT

A previously healthy 10-year-old girl, living in a sheep-farming community in South Africa with exposure to dogs, presented to her local hospital with generalised tonic-clonic seizures. The initial clinical assessment and laboratory work-up were unremarkable. When she presented with further seizures 6 months later, attempts to arrange neuroimaging and specialist assessment were unsuccessful owing to restrictions on routine healthcare services during the SARS-CoV-2 nationwide lockdown. Subsequently, 11 months after her first presentation, she developed focal neurological signs suggestive of raised intracranial pressure. A brain computed tomography scan revealed a left-sided cerebral cyst and imminent tonsillar herniation. An emergency burr-hole procedure was performed to relieve the raised intracranial pressure, followed by definitive neurosurgical excision of cysts. Hydatid protoscolices and hooklets were seen on microscopy of cyst fluid, and treatment with albendazole and praziquantel was initiated. While her infection was treated successfully, long-term sequelae including permanent blindness and hemiparesis could potentially have been prevented with early neuroimaging and surgical intervention.


Subject(s)
Anticestodal Agents/administration & dosage , Brain Diseases/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Echinococcosis/diagnosis , Albendazole/administration & dosage , Brain Diseases/drug therapy , Brain Diseases/parasitology , Child , Delayed Diagnosis , Echinococcosis/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Intracranial Hypertension/parasitology , Praziquantel/administration & dosage , Seizures/parasitology , South Africa , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
4.
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 19(7): 1410-1417.e9, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499706

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had a sudden, dramatic impact on healthcare. In Italy, since the beginning of the pandemic, colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs have been forcefully suspended. We aimed to evaluate whether screening procedure delays can affect the outcomes of CRC screening. METHODS: We built a procedural model considering delays in the time to colonoscopy and estimating the effect on mortality due to up-stage migration of patients. The number of expected CRC cases was computed by using the data of the Italian screened population. Estimates of the effects of delay to colonoscopy on CRC stage, and of stage on mortality were assessed by a meta-analytic approach. RESULTS: With a delay of 0-3 months, 74% of CRC is expected to be stage I-II, while with a delay of 4-6 months there would be a 2%-increase for stage I-II and a concomitant decrease for stage III-IV (P = .068). Compared to baseline (0-3 months), moderate (7-12 months) and long (> 12 months) delays would lead to a significant increase in advanced CRC (from 26% to 29% and 33%, respectively; P = .008 and P < .001, respectively). We estimated a significant increase in the total number of deaths (+12.0%) when moving from a 0-3-months to a >12-month delay (P = .005), and a significant change in mortality distribution by stage when comparing the baseline with the >12-months (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Screening delays beyond 4-6 months would significantly increase advanced CRC cases, and also mortality if lasting beyond 12 months. Our data highlight the need to reorganize efforts against high-impact diseases such as CRC, considering possible future waves of SARS-CoV-2 or other pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Delayed Diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer , Aged , Colonoscopy , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/mortality , Humans , Italy , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Pandemics
5.
JBJS Case Connect ; 11(4)2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477650

ABSTRACT

CASE: A 65-year-old man experienced backache, and 9 days later, he developed cellulitis in his left foot. On the 20th day, his body temperature was 37°C, and he had intermittent and shallow cough. On the 29th day, he was diagnosed with pyogenic lumbar discitis and bacteremia. Computed tomography examinations showed no evidence of pneumonia, but his cough persisted, and an elevated d-dimer level was observed. Finally, he tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CONCLUSIONS: This case shows possible associations among COVID-19, venous thrombosis, cellulitis, and bacteremia. Other infections may coexist with COVID-19 and mask it.


Subject(s)
Bacteremia/diagnosis , Bacteremia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Discitis/diagnosis , Discitis/etiology , Aged , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Delayed Diagnosis , Humans , Male , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
7.
BMJ Case Rep ; 14(9)2021 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440811

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a novel disease often presenting with a cough, fever or a change in smell or taste. Recently, it has been recognised that COVID-19 may result in multisystemic issues and thus cause atypical symptoms, which can cause diagnostic delay, uncertainty and inaccuracy. A 60-year-old woman presented to the hospital with a 2-day history of mid-thoracic discomfort, intermittent rigours, fevers and general malaise, a few weeks after likely COVID-19 infection. She was admitted and treated for community-acquired pneumonia. However, her symptoms recurred despite multiple courses of antibiotics, which prompted further workup. A combination of a pleural and pericardial effusion was identified, leading to a diagnosis of polyserositis, and a COVID-19 antibody test came back positive. Colchicine was effective at resolving her symptoms, leading to further conviction of a probable postviral polyserositis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delayed Diagnosis , Female , Fever , Humans , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local , SARS-CoV-2
9.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2126334, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427027

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed medical consultations, possibly leading to the diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancer at advanced stages. Objective: To evaluate stage at diagnosis among patients with gastrointestinal cancer in Japan before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study included patients in a hospital-based cancer registry who were diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer (ie, esophageal, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, liver, and biliary tract cancers) between January 2016 and December 2020 at 2 tertiary Japanese hospitals. Exposures: The pre-COVID-19 period was defined as January 2017 to February 2020, and the COVID-19 period was defined as March 2020 to December 2020. Main Outcome and Measure: Monthly numbers of patients with newly diagnosed cancer were aggregated, classified by stage, and compared. Results: The study evaluated 5167 patients, including 4218 patients (2825 [67.0%] men; mean [SD] age, 71.3 [10.9] years) in the pre-COVID-19 period and 949 patients (607 [64.0%] men; mean [SD] age, 71.8 [10.7] years) in the COVID-19 period. Comparing the pre-COVID-19 period with the COVID-19 period, significant decreases were observed in the mean (SD) number of patients with newly diagnosed gastric cancer (30.63 [6.62] patients/month vs 22.40 [5.85] patients/month; -26.87% change; P < .001) and colorectal cancer (41.61 [6.81] patients/month vs 36.00 [6.72] patients/month; -13.47% change; P = .03). Significant decreases were also observed in the mean (SD) number of cases of stage I gastric cancer (21.55 [5.66] cases/month vs 13.90 [5.99] cases/month; -35.51% change; P < .001), stage 0 colorectal cancer (10.58 [3.36] cases/month vs 7.10 [4.10] cases/month; -32.89% change; P = .008), and stage I colorectal cancer (10.16 [3.14] cases/month vs 6.70 [2.91] cases/month; -34.04% change; P = .003). No significant increases were observed for esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, liver, or biliary tract cancers. A significant decrease was observed in the mean (SD) number of cases per month of stage II colorectal cancer (7.42 [3.06] cases/month vs 4.80 [1.75] cases/month; -35.32% change; P = .01); a significant increase was observed for the mean (SD) number of cases per month of stage III colorectal cancer (7.18 [2.85] cases/month vs 12.10 [2.42] cases/month; 68.42% change; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of patients in a hospital-based cancer registry form Japan, significantly fewer patients were diagnosed with stage I gastric and colorectal cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the number of screening-detected cancers might have decreased, and colorectal cancer may have been diagnosed at more advanced stages.


Subject(s)
Biliary Tract Neoplasms/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Early Detection of Cancer , Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Liver Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pancreatic Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Delayed Diagnosis/trends , Female , Humans , Japan , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Neoplasm Staging , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Lancet Oncol ; 22(10): 1427-1437, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386872

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has strained health system capacity worldwide due to a surge of hospital admissions, while mitigation measures have simultaneously reduced patients' access to health care, affecting the diagnosis and treatment of other diseases such as cancer. We estimated the impact of delayed diagnosis on cancer outcomes in Chile using a novel modelling approach to inform policies and planning to mitigate the forthcoming cancer-related health impacts of the pandemic in Chile. METHODS: We developed a microsimulation model of five cancers in Chile (breast, cervix, colorectal, prostate, and stomach) for which reliable data were available, which simulates cancer incidence and progression in a nationally representative virtual population, as well as stage-specific cancer detection and survival probabilities. We calibrated the model to empirical data on monthly detected cases, as well as stage at diagnosis and 5-year net survival. We accounted for the impact of COVID-19 on excess mortality and cancer detection by month during the pandemic, and projected diagnosed cancer cases and outcomes of stage at diagnosis and survival up to 2030. For comparison, we simulated a no COVID-19 scenario in which the impacts of COVID-19 on excess mortality and cancer detection were removed. FINDINGS: Our modelling showed a sharp decrease in the number of diagnosed cancer cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a large projected short-term increase in future diagnosed cases. Due to the projected backlog in diagnosis, we estimated that in 2021 there will be an extra 3198 cases (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1356-5017) diagnosed among the five modelled cancers, an increase of nearly 14% compared with the no COVID-19 scenario, falling to a projected 10% increase in 2022 with 2674 extra cases (1318-4032) diagnosed. As a result of delayed diagnosis, we found a worse stage distribution for detected cancers in 2020-22, which is estimated to lead to 3542 excess cancer deaths (95% UI 2236-4816) in 2022-30, compared with the no COVID-19 scenario, among the five modelled cancers, most of which (3299 deaths, 2151-4431) are projected to occur before 2025. INTERPRETATION: In addition to a large projected surge in diagnosed cancer cases, we found that delays in diagnosis will result in worse cancer stage at presentation, leading to worse survival outcomes. These findings can help to inform surge capacity planning and highlight the importance of ensuring appropriate health system capacity levels to detect and care for the increased cancer cases in the coming years, while maintaining the timeliness and quality of cancer care. Potential delays in treatment and adverse impacts on quality of care, which were not considered in this model, are likely to contribute to even more excess deaths from cancer than projected. FUNDING: Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. TRANSLATIONS: For the Spanish and Portuguese translations of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/mortality , Chile , Computer Simulation , Delayed Diagnosis/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2
14.
BMC Pulm Med ; 21(1): 278, 2021 Aug 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381257

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are various reasons for delayed positive nasopharyngeal PCR tests for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) in not only asymptomatic but also severely diseased patients. The pathophysiological attributes are not known. We explore this possibility through a case report. CASE PRESENTATION: A 64-year-old male with history of pulmonary fungal infection, asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD), diabetes, coronary artery disease presented with shortness of breath, fever and chest image of ground opacity, reticular interstitial thickening, highly suspicious for COVID19. However, nasopharyngeal swab tests were discordantly negative for four times in two weeks, and IgG antibody for COVID19 was also negative. However, serum IgE level was elevated. No other pathogens are identified. His symptoms deteriorated despite corticosteroid, antibiotics and bronchodilator treatment. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and open lung wedge biopsy were performed for etiology diagnosis. They demonstrated COVID19 viral RNA positive fibrosing organizing pneumonia with respiratory tract damage characterized by suspicious viral cytopathic effect, mixed neutrophilic, lymphoplasmacytic, histiocytic and eosinophilic inflammation and fibrosis besides expected asthma and COPD change. One week later, repeated COVID19 nasopharyngeal tests on day 40 and day 49 became positive. CONCLUSION: Our case and literature review indicate that allergic asthma and associated high IgE level together with corticosteroid inhalation might contribute to the delayed positive nasopharyngeal swab in upper airway; COPD related chronic airways obstruction and the addition of fibrosis induced ventilator dependence and poor prognosis in COVID19 pneumonia, and should be therapeutically targeted besides antiviral therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Delayed Diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Administration, Inhalation , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Asthma/complications , Asthma/drug therapy , Asthma/pathology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Fatal Outcome , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/drug therapy , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
15.
Curr Opin Neurol ; 34(1): 133-141, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379488

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this study was to present the latest advances in giant cell arteritis (GCA) care, and recent national and international rheumatology societies guidance which influences clinical practice. RECENT FINDINGS: Cranial ultrasound reduces diagnostic delay and improves clinical outcomes. Immediate high dose glucocorticoids remain the standard treatment for GCA. Controlled trial evidence using Tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, shows good clinical efficacy with steroid-sparing effects. SUMMARY: Improved patient outcomes require formalizing pathways to diagnosis and closer liaison with rheumatology for long-term management with second-line therapies.


Subject(s)
Giant Cell Arteritis/therapy , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Delayed Diagnosis , Giant Cell Arteritis/diagnosis , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Treatment Outcome
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17331, 2021 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379338

ABSTRACT

This time-to-event study examines social factors associated with health-seeking and diagnosis of 165 COVID-19 cases in response to the pandemic spread in Shaanxi Province, China. In particular, we investigate the differential access to healthcare in terms of delayed time from symptom onset to first medical visit and subsequently to diagnosis by factors such as sex, age, travel history, and type of healthcare utilization. We show that it takes more time for patients older than 60 (against those under 30) to seek healthcare after developing symptoms (+ 2.5 days, [Formula: see text]), surveillance on people with living or travel history to Wuhan helps shorten the time to the first doctor visit (- 0.8 days) and diagnosis (- 2.2 days, [Formula: see text]). A delay cut is associated with the adoption of intermediary and large hospitals rather than community-based care as primary care choices (- 1.6 days, [Formula: see text] and - 2.2 days, [Formula: see text]). One unit increase of healthcare workers per 1000 people saves patients 0.5 days ([Formula: see text]) for diagnosis from the first doctor visit and 0.6 days ([Formula: see text]) in total. Our analysis of factors associated with the time delay for diagnosis may provide a better understanding of the health-seeking behaviors of patients and the diagnosis capacity of healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Delayed Diagnosis/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , China , Female , Help-Seeking Behavior , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378354

ABSTRACT

Considering the constant increase in breast cancer patients, identifying factors that influence the moment of diagnosis is essential for optimizing therapeutic management and associated cost. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the impact of the economic crisis on the moment of a breast cancer diagnosis. This retrospective observational study analyzed a cohort of 4929 patients diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of 19 years in the Western region of Romania. The time interval was divided based on the onset of the economic crisis into 3 periods: pre-crisis (2001-2006), crisis (2007-2012), and post-crisis (2013-2019). The disease stage at the moment of diagnosis was considered either early (stages 0, I, II) or advanced (stages III, IV). Although recording a similar mean number of patients diagnosed per year during the pre- and crisis periods, a significantly higher percentage of patients were diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer during the economic crisis period compared to the previous interval (46.9% vs. 56.3%, p < 0.01). This difference was further accentuated when accounting for environmental setting, with 65.2% of patients from a rural setting being diagnosed with advanced disease during the crisis interval. An overall improvement of 12% in early-stage breast cancer diagnosis was recorded in the post-crisis period (55.7%, p < 0.001). The findings of this study support periods of economic instability as potential factors for a delay in breast cancer diagnosis and highlight the need for the development of specific strategies aimed at reducing cancer healthcare and associated financial burden in times of economic crisis.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Delayed Diagnosis , Economic Recession , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Romania
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374380

ABSTRACT

Household secondary attack rate (HSAR) by risk factor might have a higher transmission rate between spouses. We investigated risk factors for the HSAR among non-spousal household contacts of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We studied household contacts of index cases of COVID-19 in Tsuchiura, Japan, from August 2020 through February 2021. The HSARs of the whole household contacts and non-spousal household contacts were calculated and compared across risk factors. We used a generalized linear mixed regression model for multivariate analysis. We enrolled 496 household contacts of 236 index COVID-19 cases. The HSAR was higher for spousal household contacts (37.8%) than for other contacts (21.2%). The HSAR was lower for non-spousal household contacts with a household size (number of household members) of two (18.2%), compared to the HSAR for contacts with a household size ≥4. The HSAR was higher for non-spousal household contacts of index patients with ≥3 days of diagnostic delay (period between onset and diagnosis) (26.0%) compared to those with ≤2 days' delay (12.5%) (p = 0.033). Among non-spousal household contacts, the HSAR was low for those with a household size of two and was high for contacts of index patients with a long diagnostic delay.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delayed Diagnosis , Humans , Incidence , Japan/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
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
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