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1.
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol ; 17(3): 342-349, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714924

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: AKI is a common complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is associated with high mortality. Palliative care, a specialty that supports patients with serious illness, is valuable for these patients but is historically underutilized in AKI. The objectives of this paper are to describe the use of palliative care in patients with AKI and COVID-19 and their subsequent health care utilization. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of New York University Langone Health electronic health data of COVID-19 hospitalizations between March 2, 2020 and August 25, 2020. Regression models were used to examine characteristics associated with receiving a palliative care consult. RESULTS: Among patients with COVID-19 (n=4276; 40%), those with AKI (n=1310; 31%) were more likely than those without AKI (n=2966; 69%) to receive palliative care (AKI without KRT: adjusted odds ratio, 1.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.40 to 2.33; P<0.001; AKI with KRT: adjusted odds ratio, 2.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.52 to 3.97; P<0.001), even after controlling for markers of critical illness (admission to intensive care units, mechanical ventilation, or modified sequential organ failure assessment score); however, consults came significantly later (10 days from admission versus 5 days; P<0.001). Similarly, 66% of patients initiated on KRT received palliative care versus 37% (P<0.001) of those with AKI not receiving KRT, and timing was also later (12 days from admission versus 9 days; P=0.002). Despite greater use of palliative care, patients with AKI had a significantly longer length of stay, more intensive care unit admissions, and more use of mechanical ventilation. Those with AKI did have a higher frequency of discharges to inpatient hospice (6% versus 3%) and change in code status (34% versus 7%) than those without AKI. CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care was utilized more frequently for patients with AKI and COVID-19 than historically reported in AKI. Despite high mortality, consultation occurred late in the hospital course and was not associated with reduced initiation of life-sustaining interventions. PODCAST: This article contains a podcast at https://www.asn-online.org/media/podcast/CJASN/2022_02_24_CJN11030821.mp3.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Health Resources/trends , Palliative Care/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Acute Kidney Injury/mortality , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care/trends , Electronic Health Records , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Referral and Consultation/trends , Respiration, Artificial/trends , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
3.
Panminerva Med ; 63(4): 478-481, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591662

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is putting the European National Health Systems under pressure. Interestingly, Emergency Department (ED) referrals for other reasons than COVID-19 seem to have declined steeply. In the present paper, we aimed to verify how the COVID-19 outbreak changed ED referral pattern. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of patients referred to the ED of a University Hospital in Northern Italy from 1 March to 13 April 2020. We compared the following data with those belonging to the same period in 2019: number of EDs accesses, rate of hospital admission, frequencies of the most common causes of ED referral, priority codes of access. RESULTS: The number of ED referrals during the COVID-19 outbreak was markedly reduced when compared to the same period in 2019 (3059 vs. 5691; -46.3%). Conversely, the rate of hospital admission raised from 16.9% to 35.4% (P<0.0001), with a shift toward higher priority codes of ED admission. In 2020, we observed both a reduction of the number of patients referred for both traumatic (513, 16.8% vs. 1544, 27.1%; χ2=118.7, P<0.0001) and non-traumatic (4147 vs. 2546) conditions. Among the latter, suspected COVID-19 accounted for 1101 (43.2%) accesses. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the pattern of ED referral in Italy, with a marked reduction of the accesses to the hospitals. This could be related to a limited exposure to traumas and to a common fear of being infected during EDs in-stay. This may limit the misuse of EDs for non-urgent conditions but may also delay proper referrals for urgent conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation/trends , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(12): e0010064, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581898

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Among the many collaterals of the COVID-19 pandemic is the disruption of health services and vital clinical research. COVID-19 has magnified the challenges faced in research and threatens to slow research for urgently needed therapeutics for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and diseases affecting the most vulnerable populations. Here we explore the impact of the pandemic on a clinical trial for plague therapeutics and strategies that have been considered to ensure research efforts continue. METHODS: To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trial accrual rate, we documented changes in patterns of all-cause consultations that took place before and during the pandemic at health centres in two districts of the Amoron'I Mania region of Madagascar where the trial is underway. We also considered trends in plague reporting and other external factors that may have contributed to slow recruitment. RESULTS: During the pandemic, we found a 27% decrease in consultations at the referral hospital, compared to an 11% increase at peripheral health centres, as well as an overall drop during the months of lockdown. We also found a nation-wide trend towards reduced number of reported plague cases. DISCUSSION: COVID-19 outbreaks are unlikely to dissipate in the near future. Declining NTD case numbers recorded during the pandemic period should not be viewed in isolation or taken as a marker of things to come. It is vitally important that researchers are prepared for a rebound in cases and, most importantly, that research continues to avoid NTDs becoming even more neglected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Impact Assessment , Neglected Diseases/drug therapy , Plague/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Research , Tropical Medicine/trends , Disease Notification , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Madagascar/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Patient Selection , Plague/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation/trends
5.
J Telemed Telecare ; 27(10): 609-614, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546645

ABSTRACT

This study describes and analyses the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) activity and cost data for specialist consultations in Australia, as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To achieve this, activity and cost data for MBS specialist consultations conducted from March 2019 to February 2021 were analysed month-to-month. MBS data for in-person, videoconference and telephone consultations were compared before and after the introduction of COVID-19 MBS telehealth funding in March 2020. The total number of MBS specialist consultations claimed per month did not differ significantly before and after the onset of COVID-19 (p = 0.717), demonstrating telehealth substitution of in-person care. After the introduction of COVID-19 telehealth funding, the average number of monthly telehealth consultations increased (p < 0.0001), representing an average of 19% of monthly consultations. A higher proportion of consultations were provided by telephone when compared to services delivered by video. Patient-end services did not increase after the onset of COVID-19, signifying a divergence from the historical service delivery model. Overall, MBS costs for specialist consultations did not vary significantly after introducing COVID-19 telehealth funding (p = 0.589). Telehealth consultations dramatically increased during COVID-19 and patients continued to receive specialist care. After the onset of COVID-19, the cost per telehealth specialist consultation was reduced, resulting in increased cost efficiency to the MBS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Referral and Consultation , Telemedicine , Australia , Humans , National Health Programs , Referral and Consultation/economics , Referral and Consultation/trends
11.
World Neurosurg ; 156: 28-32, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401929

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread consequences on health care systems around the world. It resulted in extensive changes to the referral patterns, management, and rehabilitation of surgical conditions. We aimed to evaluate the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on traumatic brain injury (TBI) specifically. We reviewed the literature published on COVID-19 and TBI referrals, management, and rehabilitation. Significant changes were seen in the referral patterns of TBIs worldwide, explained by changes in societal behaviors and changes in the mechanism of injury. Implementation of strict infection control measures and COVID-19 screening was commonplace, with some reporting changes to operating room protocols. TBI was more likely to be conservatively managed. Rehabilitation services were restricted, with a greater shift towards telemedicine to provide rehabilitative therapy remotely.


Subject(s)
Brain Injuries, Traumatic , COVID-19 , Neurological Rehabilitation/methods , Neurological Rehabilitation/trends , Referral and Consultation/trends , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/trends
12.
Oncology (Williston Park) ; 35(8): 462-470, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359548

ABSTRACT

Objectives: COVID-19 created unexpected delays in oncologic treatment. This study sought to assess the volume of missed cancer-related services due to the pandemic. Methods: This case-controlled trial evaluated more than 345,000 oncologic clinic, lab, and radiation appointments from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2020, and surgery appointments from January 1, 2019, through October 31, 2020. All patients at the Seidman Cancer Center with a cancer diagnosis based on a comprehensive list of 2178 International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition (ICD-9) and ICD-10 codes were included in the analysis. Subgroup analyses based on age, race, and sex were also performed. Results: Clinic, lab, and surgical visit cancellations increased by 4.20% (P <.001), 4.84% (P <.001), and 5.22% (P <.001), respectively. In the first 10 months of 2020, there were 703 (9.2%) fewer surgeries compared with the same time period in 2019. The following cancellation rates peaked in March 2020: clinic visits (26.53%), labs (43.66%), surgery (34.00%). Radiation oncology (12.53%) cancellations peaked in April 2020. Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, the group aged 0 to 39 years had the highest clinic cancellation rate (17.85%) compared with patients aged 40 to 64 years (15.95%) and 65 years and older (14.52%; P <.001). Men cancelled (15.63%) significantly more often than women (14.93%; P <.001) in 2019. This reversed during the pandemic: Women (19.56%) cancelled more frequently than men (19.20%; P <.036). Conclusions: There was a large increase in cancelled oncologic care in 2020, which has implications for delayed diagnosis and treatment. This was especially true for patients older than 65 years and for women. These delays could result in patients presenting with more advanced disease, complicating morbidities, and ultimately worse long-term outcomes.


Subject(s)
Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19/epidemiology , Medical Oncology/trends , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/trends , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Referral and Consultation/trends
13.
Cerebrovasc Dis ; 50(2): 185-199, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Posterior circulation stroke is characterized by poor prognosis because its optimal thrombolysis "time window" is always missed. After mechanical thrombectomy (MT), the recanalization rate of posterior circulation obstruction is significantly increased, but prognosis remains poor. To best manage patients, prognostic factors are needed to inform MT triaging after posterior circulation stroke. METHODS: A systematic literature search was done for the period through April 2020. Studies included those with posterior circulation stroke cases that underwent MT. The primary outcome measure in this study was the modified Rankin Scale on day 90. RESULTS: No outcome differences were found in gender, atrial fibrillation, smoking, and coronary artery disease (OR = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.90-1.28; OR = 1.02, 95% CI: 0.82-1.26; OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 0.94-1.68; and OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.58-1.22, respectively). Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and previous stroke correlated with poorer prognosis (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.48-0.77; OR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.50-0.73; and OR = 0.74, 95% CI: 0.55-0.99, respectively). However, hyperlipidemia correlated with better prognosis (OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.04-1.58). CONCLUSION: Our analysis indicates that hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or previous stroke correlate with poorer outcomes. Intriguingly, hyperlipidemia correlates with better prognosis. These factors may help inform triage decisions when considering MT for posterior circulation stroke patients. However, large, multicenter, randomized controlled trials are needed to validate these observations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Thrombectomy/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , Quality Indicators, Health Care/trends , Recovery of Function , Referral and Consultation/trends , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Thrombectomy/adverse effects , Thrombectomy/mortality , Time Factors , Time-to-Treatment/trends , Treatment Outcome
15.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 125, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282239

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aims of our study were to describe the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on primary care in Germany regarding the number of consultations, the prevalence of specific reasons for consultation presented by the patients, and the frequency of specific services performed by the GP. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal observational study based on standardised GP interviews in a quota sampling design comparing the time before the COVID-19 pandemic (12 June 2015 to 27 April 2017) with the time during lockdown (21 April to 14 July 2020). The sample included GPs in urban and rural areas 120 km around Hamburg, Germany, and was stratified by region type and administrative districts. Differences in the consultation numbers were analysed by multivariate linear regressions in mixed models adjusted for random effects on the levels of the administrative districts and GP practices. RESULTS: One hundred ten GPs participated in the follow-up, corresponding to 52.1% of the baseline. Primary care practices in 32 of the 37 selected administrative districts (86.5%) could be represented in both assessments. At baseline, GPs reported 199.6 ± 96.9 consultations per week, which was significantly reduced during COVID-19 lockdown by 49.0% to 101.8 ± 67.6 consultations per week (p < 0.001). During lockdown, the frequency of five reasons for consultation (-43.0% to -31.5%) and eleven services (-56.6% to -33.5%) had significantly decreased. The multilevel, multivariable analyses showed an average reduction of 94.6 consultations per week (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We observed a dramatic reduction of the number of consultations in primary care. This effect was independent of age, sex and specialty of the GP and independent of the practice location in urban or rural areas. Consultations for complaints like low back pain, gastrointestinal complaints, vertigo or fatigue and services like house calls/calls at nursing homes, wound treatments, pain therapy or screening examinations for the early detection of chronic diseases were particularly affected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Health Services/trends , Primary Health Care/trends , Referral and Consultation/trends , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Germany , House Calls , Humans , Linear Models , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Nursing Homes , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Clin Exp Optom ; 104(6): 711-716, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238095

ABSTRACT

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Following the COVID-19 lockdown, uptake of slitlamp-enabled live teleophthalmology increased. Its use contributed to a reduction of referrals escalated to secondary care during-lockdown (avoided: 64% pre-lockdown vs 86% during-lockdown). BACKGROUND: Live teleophthalmology using video conferencing allows real-time, three-way consultation between secondary care, community providers and patients, improving interpretation of slit lamp findings and potentially reducing referrals to secondary care. NHS Forth Valley implemented live teleophthalmology in March 2019. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created urgency to deliver ophthalmic care while minimising the risk of contracting or spreading the disease. We aim to compare the uptake and two outcomes (number of avoided secondary care referrals; pattern of presenting conditions) of live teleophthalmology consultations in NHS Forth Valley before and during the COVID-19 national lockdown. METHODS: An NHS secure video conferencing platform connected the video slit lamps of optometrists, or an iPad mounted on a slit lamp and viewing through the eyepieces, to a secondary care ophthalmologist via a virtual live clinic/waiting area. Data about avoiding a secondary care referral were extracted from a post-consultation ophthalmologist survey for 14 months of data. Pre- and during-lockdown intervals were before/after 23 March 2020, when routine eyecare appointments were suspended. Numbers of avoided referrals to secondary care and patterns of presenting conditions were compared for pre- and during-lockdown periods. RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic markedly increased use of live teleophthalmology in NHS Forth Valley. Surveys were completed for 164 of 250 (66%) teleophthalmology consultations over the study period. Data from 154 surveys were analysed, 78 and 76 for the pre- and during-lockdown periods, respectively. Significantly more during-lockdown (86%) than pre-lockdown (64%; difference 21%, 95% CI 8-34%, p = 0.001) surveys indicated that referrals to secondary care were avoided. CONCLUSION: Survey data from ophthalmologists suggest significantly fewer escalations to secondary care due to teleophthalmology use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Eye Diseases/epidemiology , Ophthalmology/methods , Quarantine , Referral and Consultation/trends , Secondary Care/standards , Telemedicine/methods , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Eye Diseases/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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