Reorganization Tips from a Sarcoma Unit at Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: Early Experience from a Regional Referral Oncologic Center

Barbara Rossi, Carmine Zoccali, Jacopo Baldi, Alessandra Scotto di Uccio, Roberto Biagini, Assunta De Luca, Maria Grazia Petrongari, Virginia Ferraresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency, Italy's lockdown was declared on 9 March 2020. Elective orthopedic surgery was forced to stop to allow the healthcare system to face the emergency. However, many orthopedic oncology cases could not be postponed. The aim of this study was to report the experience in managing sarcoma patients and the reorganization of a cancer center in an attempt to maintain it free from COVID-19. A Coronavirus Crisis Unit was established by the health directorate coordination in order to adopt specific procedures. General rules of screening and social distancing were applied in different health settings (entrance check point, hospital inward, outpatient clinic, operative room). Regarding oncologic orthopedics, priority was given to bone and soft tissue sarcomas, metastases and aggressive benign tumors at risk of impending or pathologic fracture. Precise indications were followed to manage first outpatient visits, patients undergoing surgery and follow-up. Meticulous adherence to rules among patients and personnel and collaboration between leadership and medical staff in order to continue to perform multidisciplinary treatment protocols, maintain the availability of infrastructural spaces and source protective equipment, swabs and screening samples have been successful in the aim towards a safe cure for cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2020

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