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Ann R Coll Surg Engl ; 103(7): 496-498, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288680


As the COVID-19 pandemic progressed across the UK and Northern Ireland in March 2020, our otolaryngology department began to make preparations and changes in practice to accommodate for potentially large numbers of patients with COVID-19 related respiratory illness in the hospital. We retrospectively reviewed the number of non-elective admissions to our department between the months of January and May in 2019 and 2020. A significant reduction in admissions of up to 94% during the months of the pandemic was observed. Our practice shifted to manage patients with epistaxis and peritonsillar abscess on an outpatient basis, and while prospectively collecting data on this, we did not observe any significant adverse events. We view this as a positive learning point and change in our practice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Surgery Department, Hospital/trends , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/standards , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Epistaxis/surgery , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Northern Ireland/epidemiology , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/standards , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Admission/standards , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Peritonsillar Abscess/surgery , Retrospective Studies , Surgery Department, Hospital/standards , Surgery Department, Hospital/statistics & numerical data
Ann R Coll Surg Engl ; 103(7): 524-529, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288677


INTRODUCTION: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous bariatric surgical units globally have halted weight loss surgery. Obesity itself has been shown to be a predictor of poor outcome in people infected with the virus. The aim of this study was to report our experience as a high-volume bariatric institution resuming elective weight loss surgery safely amidst emergency admissions of COVID-19-positive patients. METHODS: A standard operating procedure based on national guidance and altered to accommodate local considerations was initiated across the hospital. Data were collected prospectively for 50 consecutive patients undergoing bariatric surgery following recommencement of elective surgery after the first national lockdown in the UK. RESULTS: Between 28 June and 5 August 2020, a total of 50 patients underwent bariatric surgery of whom 94% were female. Median age was 41 years and median body mass index was 43.8 (interquartile range 40.0-48.8)kg/m2. Half of the patients (n = 25/50) underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and half underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Of these 50 patients, 9 (18%) had revisional bariatric surgery. Overall median length of hospital stay was 1 day, with 96% of the study population being discharged within 24h of surgery. The overall rate of readmission was 6% and one patient (2%) returned to theatre with an obstruction proximal to jejuno-jejunal anastomosis. None of the patients exhibited symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19. CONCLUSION: With appropriately implemented measures and precautions, resumption of bariatric surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic appears feasible and safe with no increased risk to patients.

Bariatric Surgery/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Elective Surgical Procedures/adverse effects , Obesity, Morbid/surgery , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Adult , Bariatric Surgery/standards , Bariatric Surgery/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Clinical Protocols/standards , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Elective Surgical Procedures/standards , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Enhanced Recovery After Surgery/standards , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity, Morbid/complications , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Readmission/statistics & numerical data , Postoperative Complications/etiology , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Surgery Department, Hospital/standards , Surgery Department, Hospital/statistics & numerical data
Ann R Coll Surg Engl ; 103(7): 487-492, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288676


INTRODUCTION: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our emergency general surgery (EGS) service underwent significant restructuring, including establishing an enhanced ambulatory service and undertaking nonoperative management of selected pathologies. The aim of this study was to compare the activity of our EGS service before and after these changes. METHODS: Patients referred by the emergency department were identified prospectively over a 4-week period beginning from the date our EGS service was reconfigured (COVID) and compared with patients identified retrospectively from the same period the previous year (Pre-COVID), and followed up for 30 days. Data were extracted from handover documents and electronic care records. The primary outcomes were the rate of admission, ambulation and discharge. RESULTS: There were 281 and 283 patients during the Pre-COVID and COVID periods respectively. Admission rate decreased from 78.7% to 41.7%, while there were increased rates of ambulation from 7.1% to 17.3% and discharge from 6% to 22.6% (all p<0.001). For inpatients, mean duration of admission decreased (6.9 to 4.8 days), and there were fewer operative or endoscopic interventions (78 to 40). There were increased ambulatory investigations (11 to 39) and telephone reviews (0 to 39), while early computed tomography scan was increasingly used to facilitate discharge (5% vs 34.7%). There were no differences in 30-day readmission or mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Restructuring of our EGS service in response to COVID-19 facilitated an increased use of ambulatory services and imaging, achieving a decrease of 952 inpatient bed days in this critical period, while maintaining patient safety.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Emergency Treatment/statistics & numerical data , General Surgery/organization & administration , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Conservative Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/standards , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Treatment/methods , Emergency Treatment/standards , Female , Follow-Up Studies , General Surgery/standards , General Surgery/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infection Control/standards , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Readmission/statistics & numerical data , Patient Safety/standards , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation/organization & administration , Referral and Consultation/standards , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surgery Department, Hospital/standards , Surgery Department, Hospital/statistics & numerical data
Plast Reconstr Surg ; 148(1): 168e-169e, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263729

COVID-19/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Surgery, Plastic/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Testing/trends , Egypt/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/standards , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Health Policy , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/trends , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/standards , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures/trends , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surgery Department, Hospital/standards , Surgery Department, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Surgery Department, Hospital/trends , Surgery, Plastic/standards , Surgery, Plastic/statistics & numerical data , Surgery, Plastic/trends , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Triage/organization & administration , Triage/standards , Triage/statistics & numerical data , Triage/trends
S Afr Med J ; 111(5): 426-431, 2021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256982


BACKGROUND: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, surgical operations have been drastically reduced in South Africa (SA). Guidelines on surgical prioritisation during COVID-19 have been published, but are specific to high-income countries. There is a pressing need for context-specific guidelines and a validated tool for prioritising surgical cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, the South African National Surgical Obstetric Anaesthesia Plan Task Team was asked by the National Department of Health to establish a national framework for COVID-19 surgical prioritisation. OBJECTIVES: To develop a national framework for COVID-19 surgical prioritisation, including a set of recommendations and a risk calculatorfor operative care. METHODS: The surgical prioritisation framework was developed in three stages: (i) a literature review of international, national and local recommendations on COVID-19 and surgical care was conducted; (ii) a set of recommendations was drawn up based on the available literature and through consensus of the COVID-19 Task Team; and (iii) a COVID-19 surgical risk calculator was developed and evaluated. RESULTS: A total of 30 documents were identified from which recommendations around prioritisation of surgical care were used to draw up six recommendations for preoperative COVID-19 screening and testing as well as the use of appropriate personal protective equipment. Ninety-nine perioperative practitioners from eight SA provinces evaluated the COVID-19 surgical risk calculator, which had high acceptability and a high level of concordance (81%) with current clinical practice. CONCLUSIONS: This national framework on COVID-19 surgical prioritisation can help hospital teams make ethical, equitable and personalised decisions whether to proceed with or delay surgical operations during this unprecedented epidemic.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Critical Care/ethics , Intensive Care Units/standards , Surgery Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Surgical Procedures, Operative/statistics & numerical data , Triage/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Consensus , Elective Surgical Procedures , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa , Surgery Department, Hospital/standards
Laryngoscope ; 131(3): E746-E754, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893245


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To compare personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines, specifically respirator use, among international public health agencies, academic hospitals, and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (OHNS) departments in the United States for the care of coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) patients. STUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional survey. METHODS: Review of publicly available public health and academic hospitals guidelines along with review of communication among otolaryngology departments. RESULTS: Among 114 academic institutions affiliated with OHNS residencies, 20 (17.5%) institutions provided public access to some form of guidance on PPE and 73 (64%) provided information on screening or diagnostic testing. PPE guidelines were uniquely described based on several variables: location of care, COVID-19 status, involvement of aerosol generating or high-risk procedures, and physical distance from the patient. Six hospital guidelines were highlighted. Across these six institutions, there was agreement that N95 respirators were needed for high-risk patients undergoing high-risk procedures. Variations existed among institutions for scenarios with low-risk patients. Definitions of the low-risk patient and high-risk procedures were inconsistent among institutions. Three of the highlighted institutions had OHNS departments recommending higher level of airway protection than the institution. CONCLUSIONS: OHNS departments typically had more stringent PPE guidance than their institution. Discrepancies in communicating PPE use were frequent and provide inconsistent information on how healthcare workers should protect themselves in the COVID-19 pandemic. Identification of these inconsistencies serves as an opportunity to standardize communication and develop evidence-based guidelines. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: V Laryngoscope, 131:E746-E754, 2021.

COVID-19/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Otolaryngology/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Academic Medical Centers/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Evidence-Based Medicine/standards , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surgery Department, Hospital/standards , United States/epidemiology