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Lancet Oncol ; 22(7): 970-976, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331315


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health-care systems, leading to concerns about its subsequent impact on non-COVID disease conditions. The diagnosis and management of cancer is time sensitive and is likely to be substantially affected by these disruptions. We aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care in India. METHODS: We did an ambidirectional cohort study at 41 cancer centres across India that were members of the National Cancer Grid of India to compare provision of oncology services between March 1 and May 31, 2020, with the same time period in 2019. We collected data on new patient registrations, number of patients visiting outpatient clinics, hospital admissions, day care admissions for chemotherapy, minor and major surgeries, patients accessing radiotherapy, diagnostic tests done (pathology reports, CT scans, MRI scans), and palliative care referrals. We also obtained estimates from participating centres on cancer screening, research, and educational activities (teaching of postgraduate students and trainees). We calculated proportional reductions in the provision of oncology services in 2020, compared with 2019. FINDINGS: Between March 1 and May 31, 2020, the number of new patients registered decreased from 112 270 to 51 760 (54% reduction), patients who had follow-up visits decreased from 634 745 to 340 984 (46% reduction), hospital admissions decreased from 88 801 to 56 885 (36% reduction), outpatient chemotherapy decreased from 173634 to 109 107 (37% reduction), the number of major surgeries decreased from 17 120 to 8677 (49% reduction), minor surgeries from 18 004 to 8630 (52% reduction), patients accessing radiotherapy from 51 142 to 39 365 (23% reduction), pathological diagnostic tests from 398 373 to 246 616 (38% reduction), number of radiological diagnostic tests from 93 449 to 53 560 (43% reduction), and palliative care referrals from 19 474 to 13 890 (29% reduction). These reductions were even more marked between April and May, 2020. Cancer screening was stopped completely or was functioning at less than 25% of usual capacity at more than 70% of centres during these months. Reductions in the provision of oncology services were higher for centres in tier 1 cities (larger cities) than tier 2 and 3 cities (smaller cities). INTERPRETATION: The COVID-19 pandemic has had considerable impact on the delivery of oncology services in India. The long-term impact of cessation of cancer screening and delayed hospital visits on cancer stage migration and outcomes are likely to be substantial. FUNDING: None. TRANSLATION: For the Hindi translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.

COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/trends , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Medical Oncology/trends , Neoplasms/therapy , Ambulatory Care/trends , COVID-19/diagnosis , Delayed Diagnosis , Early Detection of Cancer/trends , Hospitalization/trends , Hospitals, High-Volume/trends , Humans , India/epidemiology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Time Factors , Time-to-Treatment , Waiting Lists
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(8): 105806, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171234


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the healthcare systems across the world but its impact on acute stroke care is just being elucidated. We hypothesized a major global impact of COVID-19 not only on stroke volumes but also on various aspects of thrombectomy systems. AIMS: We conducted a convenience electronic survey with a 21-item questionnaire aimed to identify the changes in stroke admission volumes and thrombectomy treatment practices seen during a specified time period of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The survey was designed using Qualtrics software and sent to stroke and neuro-interventional physicians around the world who are part of the Global Executive Committee (GEC) of Mission Thrombectomy 2020, a global coalition under the aegis of Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, between April 5th and May 15th, 2020. RESULTS: There were 113 responses to the survey across 25 countries with a response rate of 31% among the GEC members. Globally there was a median 33% decrease in stroke admissions and a 25% decrease in mechanical thrombectomy (MT) procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic period until May 15th, 2020 compared to pre-pandemic months. The intubation policy for MT procedures during the pandemic was highly variable across participating centers: 44% preferred intubating all patients, including 25% of centers that changed their policy to preferred-intubation (PI) from preferred non-intubation (PNI). On the other hand, 56% centers preferred not intubating patients undergoing MT, which included 27% centers that changed their policy from PI to PNI. There was no significant difference in rate of COVID-19 infection between PI versus PNI centers (p=0.60) or if intubation policy was changed in either direction (p=1.00). Low-volume (<10 stroke/month) compared with high-volume stroke centers (>20 strokes/month) were less likely to have neurointerventional suite specific written personal protective equipment protocols (74% vs 88%) and if present, these centers were more likely to report them to be inadequate (58% vs 92%). CONCLUSION: Our data provides a comprehensive snapshot of the impact on acute stroke care observed worldwide during the pandemic. Overall, respondents reported decreased stroke admissions as well as decreased cases of MT with no clear preponderance in intubation policy during MT. DATA ACCESS STATEMENT: The corresponding author will consider requests for sharing survey data. The study was exempt from institutional review board approval as it did not involve patient level data.

COVID-19 , Global Health/trends , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Care Surveys , Hospitals, High-Volume/trends , Hospitals, Low-Volume/trends , Humans , Infection Control/trends , Intubation, Intratracheal/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Stroke/diagnosis , Time Factors
Int J Stroke ; 16(5): 573-584, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156042


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to profound changes in the organization of health care systems worldwide. AIMS: We sought to measure the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volumes for mechanical thrombectomy, stroke, and intracranial hemorrhage hospitalizations over a three-month period at the height of the pandemic (1 March-31 May 2020) compared with two control three-month periods (immediately preceding and one year prior). METHODS: Retrospective, observational, international study, across 6 continents, 40 countries, and 187 comprehensive stroke centers. The diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes and/or classifications in stroke databases at participating centers. RESULTS: The hospitalization volumes for any stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and mechanical thrombectomy were 26,699, 4002, and 5191 in the three months immediately before versus 21,576, 3540, and 4533 during the first three pandemic months, representing declines of 19.2% (95%CI, -19.7 to -18.7), 11.5% (95%CI, -12.6 to -10.6), and 12.7% (95%CI, -13.6 to -11.8), respectively. The decreases were noted across centers with high, mid, and low COVID-19 hospitalization burden, and also across high, mid, and low volume stroke/mechanical thrombectomy centers. High-volume COVID-19 centers (-20.5%) had greater declines in mechanical thrombectomy volumes than mid- (-10.1%) and low-volume (-8.7%) centers (p < 0.0001). There was a 1.5% stroke rate across 54,366 COVID-19 hospitalizations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted in 3.9% (784/20,250) of all stroke admissions. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of overall stroke hospitalizations, mechanical thrombectomy procedures, and intracranial hemorrhage admission volumes. Despite geographic variations, these volume reductions were observed regardless of COVID-19 hospitalization burden and pre-pandemic stroke/mechanical thrombectomy volumes.

COVID-19 , Global Health , Hospitalization/trends , Intracranial Hemorrhages/therapy , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals, High-Volume/trends , Hospitals, Low-Volume/trends , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnosis , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors