AB031. SOH21AS144. Elective surgery in a pandemic—is it safe to operate in a designated COVID-19 hospital?
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AB031. SOH21AS144. Elective surgery in a pandemic—is it safe to operate in a designated COVID-19 hospital?

Sarah Alexandra Craig, Sophie Davidson, Samuel Hughes, Damian McKay

Department of General Surgery, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Craigavon Area Hospital, Craigavon, Northern Ireland

Background: The global pandemic has resulted in mass cancellation of elective operations; impacting cancer procedures, waiting times and training opportunities. In the Southern Trust, Craigavon Area Hospital is the designated COVID-19 site and Daisy Hill Hospital the non- COVID-19 site. Therefore, the aim was to assess if systems introduced resulted in low post-operative COVID-19 cases in a COVID-19 site compared to a non-COVID-19 site.

Methods: A prospective audit of elective surgeries performed on COVID-19 site from May–July and non-COVID-19 site April-June 2020. Data was collected using standardised audit proforma with a 30 day follow up. Measures introduced included the use of personal protective equipment, a separate clean ward, routine staff and patient testing, 7-day patient self-isolation prior to surgery and a no visiting policy.

Results: 44 elective operations performed in COVID-19 site and 21 in non-COVID-19 site. About 2.3% (1/44) developed clinical COVID-19 6 days post-op on COVID-19 site—did not require intensive care unit admission and were alive at 30 days. Zero COVID-19 cases in non-COVID-19 site and zero staff cases across both sites.

Conclusions: Precautionary methods introduced may have contributed to low numbers of post-operative COVID-19 cases on the COVID-19 site. The methods introduced were enough to enable elective operations to recommence on the COVID-19 site, allowing training opportunities to continue. In light of recent rising community COVID-19 cases, a re-audit is being conducted using the same methods. This will increase sample size and therefore significance of results.

Keywords: General surgery; elective surgery; training opportunities; COVID-19; post-operative


Funding: None.


Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Statement: The authors are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Open Access Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits the non-commercial replication and distribution of the article with the strict proviso that no changes or edits are made and the original work is properly cited (including links to both the formal publication through the relevant DOI and the license). See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

doi: 10.21037/map-21-ab031
Cite this abstract as: Craig SA, Davidson S, Hughes S, McKay D. SOH21AS144. Elective surgery in a pandemic—is it safe to operate in a designated COVID-19 hospital? Mesentery Peritoneum 2021;5:AB031.

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