Background: The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on vascular surgery practice in a regional hub center for complex vascular disease. Methods: This is an observational single-center study in which we collected clinical and surgical data during (P1) and after (P2) the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown measures implemented in Northern Italy. We compared those data with the two-month period before the pandemic (P0). Results: Compared to P0, ambulatory activities were severely reduced during P1 and limited to hospitalized patients and outpatients with urgent criteria. We performed 61 operations (18 urgent and 43 elective), with a decrease in both aortic (−17.8%), cerebrovascular (−53.3%), and peripheral artery (−42.6%) disease treatments. We also observed a greater drop in open procedures (−53.2%) than in endovascular ones (−22%). All the elective patients were treated for notdeferrable conditions and they were COVID-19 negative at the ward admission screening; despite this one of them developed COVID19 during the hospital stay. Four COVID-19 positive patients were treated in urgent setting for acute limb ischemia. Throughout P2 we gradually rescheduled elective ambulatory (+155.5%) and surgical (+18%) activities, while remaining substantially lower than during P0 (respectively −45.6% and −25.7%). Conclusions: Despite COVID-19 pandemic, our experience shows that with careful patient's selection, dedicated prehospitalization protocol and proper use of personal protective equipment it is possible to guarantee continuity of care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine