Surgical and cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic (search done on 4 April 2020)

Added September 15, 2020

Citation: Spolverato G, Capelli G, Restivo A, et al. The management of surgical patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Surgery. 2020;168(1):4-10.

What is this? There is an ongoing need for patients to have surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this rapid systematic review, the authors searched for studies on the management of cancer and surgical patients during the COVID-19 pandemic (as well as some other issues that are covered in other Evidence Aid summaries). They did not restrict their searches by type or language of publication and did the search on 4 April 2020. They included 28 studies.

What was found: At the time of the review, the included studies showed that cancer patients and surgical patients were at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection and negative health outcomes.

At the time of the review, recommendations to reduce infection and mortality from COVID-19 in cancer patients include postponing non-essential treatments, use of adequate PPE, case-by-case evaluation for surgery and use of separate facilities for cancer patients.

At the time of the review, recommendations for pre-operative management included postponing elective surgeries, routine screening of patients, use of PPE, scheduling longer shifts to minimize COVID-19 exposure, and screening of healthcare workers.

At the time of the review, the included studies support the use of telemedicine in the postoperative follow-up of patients.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.