The management of surgical patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Gaya Spolverato, Giulia Capelli, Angelo Restivo, Quoc Riccardo Bao, Salvatore Pucciarelli, Timothy M. Pawlik, Alessandro Gronchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has raised several issues regarding the management of surgical patients. The aim of the current study was to clarify the management of oncologic and surgical patients during the pandemic. METHODS: Relevant publications reporting on the epidemiology of the pandemic, the diagnosis of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, and the clinical management of cancer and surgical patients, as well as studies concerning health care workers' safety, were included. The last date of research for this study was April 4, 2020. RESULTS: We analyzed 28 papers. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19, and computed tomography scans were considered useful for cases of diagnostic uncertainty. Cancer patients and surgical patients were confirmed to be particularly at risk of infection and negative outcome. To guarantee adequate care to these patients, while minimizing the risk for infection, the early postponing of elective surgery, the creation of COVID-free facilities and the identification of COVID- dedicated operating theaters and teams have been proposed. The correct use of personal protective equipment was also strongly advocated, along with the institution of facilities for the psychologic support of health care workers. CONCLUSION: Clinicians should be aware of the importance of providing adequate care to patients with urgent and nondeferrable clinical issues, such as cancer. Every effort should be made to contain the virus spread in the hospital setting. Also, clinicians should value the importance of self-protection and mental health care.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2020


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