COVID-19 salgını altında genel cerrahi uygulamaları: İstanbul'da bir salgın hastanesinin deneyimi General surgery practice under the COVID-19 pandemic: The experience of a pandemic hospital in Istanbul

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Tosun Y., Çetin K.

Ulusal travma ve acil cerrahi dergisi = Turkish journal of trauma & emergency surgery : TJTES, vol.28, no.2, pp.175-179, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


BACKGROUND: Although elective operations in general surgery clinics were postponed during the pandemic, non-deferrable operations such as emergency trauma, acute abdominal, and cancer surgeries continued. We aimed to present emergency and non-deferrable elective surgery cases in our hospital's general surgery clinic during the pandemic, to identify the general surgery patients that pose the greatest risk for healthcare workers who served these patients, and to share our experience in these situations. METHODS: The study was designed as a retrospective cohort study. The study included patients admitted for emergency and non-deferrable elective surgeries in Kartal Dr. Lutfi Kirdar City Hospital in Istanbul between March 10, 2020, and May 23, 2020. The patients were tested before the operation for severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. They were also routinely checked for fever and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms during dressing changes and outpatient follow-up visits after discharge as well as through the national health monitoring system (e-nabız) whether the patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 within the 15 days of discharge. Patients who tested positive in the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the first 15 days after discharge or had infiltration in thorax tomography were considered suspicious in terms of hospital transmission. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 pandemic period between March 10, 2020, and May 23, 2020, a total of 195 patients were operated on. Of these, 96 (49.2%) were operated due to emergencies, and 99 (50.8%) were non-deferrable elective surgeries. At the time of admission, 13 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 through RT-PCR and thorax tomography findings. A higher proportion of the patients with COVID-19 (n=12, 92.3%) were found to be operated for emergencies. Three patients with COVID-19 died on the 1st postoperative day. Mortality was significantly higher in this group than in those who tested negative (n=3, 23.1% vs. n=8, 4.4%). During the study, none of the healthcare workers in our clinic developed COVID-19 symptoms. Three patients who had elective surgery were found to be SARS-CoV-2 (+) in the follow-up period after discharge. CONCLUSION: Maintaining functional surgery departments under challenging times, such as a pandemic, will continue to be an important aspect of health systems. We believe that the results of this study will help reduce in-hospital transmission, help prevent disease transmission to healthcare personnel, and allow the members of the surgical teams to know in which patient group they will be at higher risk of infection during the operation.