Covid Free Zone

‘COVID-19 free’ hospital areas could save lives after surgery – global study

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic rise of the number of patients admitted to hospital around the globe who either inadvertently spread the virus or become infected once on site.

Researchers working together through the COVIDSurg collaborative have identified that patients who had their operation and hospital care in ‘COVID-19 free’ areas had better outcomes. ‘COVID-19 free’ areas improved the safety of surgery by having a strict policy that no patients treated for SARS-CoV-2 infection were mixed with those undergoing surgery.

Data collected from 9171 patients in 55 countries has shown, for the first time, that hospitals around the world can continue to operate safely on patients by setting up these areas that minimise transmission of the virus.

The full paper can be viewed here.

Patients should receive COVID-19 vaccine before surgery to reduce risk of postoperative death

Patients who are waiting for elective surgery should be given COVID-19 vaccines ahead of the general population in order to minimise the risk of post-operative deaths linked to the virus.

A new study published by the COVIDSurg collaborative has demonstrated the need for vaccination, based on the high risks that patients face, particularly when being operated on during the pandemic. Patients are at between 4- and 8- fold increased risk of death following surgery, with a patient aged 70 years or over having a mortality rate of 18.6% if they catch SARS-CoV-2 infection, up from an average rate of 2.8% without infection.

The team estimate that global prioritisation of pre-operative vaccination for elective patients could prevent an additional 58,687 COVID-19 deaths in one year.

The full paper can be viewed here.

Cancer Patient Waiting

One in seven patients miss cancer surgery during COVID lockdowns

One in seven patients miss cancer surgery during COVID lockdowns – study

With the introduction of lockdowns across the globe, various planned surgeries, including cancer surgery were affected, regardless of the local COVID-19 rates at the time

This issue has been particularly prevalent in lower income countries, with patients at the highest risk of missing their surgery.

The link between lockdowns and delays to surgery and potentially more cancer deaths has been highlighted in a new study by COVIDSurg researchers. The paper argues for major global reorganisation during the recovery from the pandemic to allow surgery to continue safely.

The paper can be viewed here.