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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 198-204

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management of surgical patients presenting in an emergency setting -Report from a tertiary referral centre

Department of General Surgery, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
A A Deshpande
Department of General Surgery, Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_103_21

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Introduction: At the onset of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the publications on managing surgical emergencies were sparse. Health care personnel were facing an unprecedented problem with limited information. On this background, we have reviewed the operational challenges faced and the protocols followed by us while managing emergency surgical patients. The clinical presentations, RT-PCR testing rates, trend of COVID-19 positivity in emergency surgical patients and its comparison to the general population, swab positivity among screen positive and negative patients, grade of COVID-19 affection, the outcomes in emergency surgical patients, and COVID-19 affection in treating personnel is studied. Patients and Methods: A protocol for triaging patients at presentation into screen positive or negative for COVID-19 was instituted. A proforma for all admitted patients over the period of March 2020 to August 2020 was maintained. A retrospective review of this data was carried out after Institutional Ethics Committee permission. Results: A total of 222 patients presented to the surgical emergency, of which 110 required admission. Of the admitted patients, 28 were COVID-19 positive. The positivity amongst admitted and operated patients increased to 50% and 66.67%, respectively in August. The difference in mortality rate amongst the operated COVID-19 positive (11.1%) and negative (14.28%) patients was nonsignificant. None of the treating doctors had to be quarantined during this period. Conclusions: The number of COVID-19 positive patients rose serially over the study period. The outcome was not affected by the COVID-19 status in mild cases. A high rate of COVID-19 positivity was seen in patients requiring emergency surgery. Universal precautions ensured delivering treatment to emergency patients in standard time. Testing should continue for all as screening alone is not effective as the virus spreads into the population. Proper protocols helped us to protect the health care workers.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow