Anecdotal evidence suggests that community infection control measures during the COVID-19 outbreak have modified the number and natural history of acute surgical inflammatory processes (ASIP—appendicitis, cholecystitis, diverticulitis and perianal abscesses) admissions. This study aims to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the presentation and treatment ASIP and quantify the effect of COVID-19 infection on the outcomes of ASIP patients. This was a multicentre, comparative study, whereby ASIP cases from 2019, 2020 and 2021 (March 14th to May 2nd) were analyzed. Data regarding patient and disease characteristics as well as outcomes, were collected from sixteen centres in Madrid, and one in Seville (Spain). The number of patients treated for ASIP in 2019 was 822 compared to 521 in 2020 and 835 in 2021. This 1/3rd reduction occurs mainly in patients with mild cases, while the number of severe cases was similar. Surgical standards suffered a step back during the first wave: Lower laparoscopic approach and longer length of stay. We also found a more conservative approach to the patients this year, non-justified by clinical circumstances. Luckily these standards improved again in 2021. The positive COVID-19 status itself did not have a direct impact on mortality. Strikingly, none of the 33 surgically treated COVID positive patients during both years died postoperatively. This is an interesting finding which, if confirmed through future research with a larger sample size of COVID-19 positive patients, can expedite the recovery phase of acute surgical services.

Fuente: Scientific reports

Published: 04 October 2021