Surgery should be delayed for at least 7 weeks after COVID, although those with persistent COVID symptoms will still have more than twice the 30-day mortality than those without.pearl
- COVIDSurg Collaborative and GlobalSurg Collaborative.
- University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
- Anaesthesia. 2021 Jun 1; 76 (6): 748-758.
AbstractPeri-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection increases postoperative mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the optimal duration of planned delay before surgery in patients who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection. This international, multicentre, prospective cohort study included patients undergoing elective or emergency surgery during October 2020. Surgical patients with pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection were compared with those without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The primary outcome measure was 30-day postoperative mortality. Logistic regression models were used to calculate adjusted 30-day mortality rates stratified by time from diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection to surgery. Among 140,231 patients (116 countries), 3127 patients (2.2%) had a pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. Adjusted 30-day mortality in patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection was 1.5% (95%CI 1.4-1.5). In patients with a pre-operative SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, mortality was increased in patients having surgery within 0-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks and 5-6 weeks of the diagnosis (odds ratio (95%CI) 4.1 (3.3-4.8), 3.9 (2.6-5.1) and 3.6 (2.0-5.2), respectively). Surgery performed ≥ 7 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis was associated with a similar mortality risk to baseline (odds ratio (95%CI) 1.5 (0.9-2.1)). After a ≥ 7 week delay in undertaking surgery following SARS-CoV-2 infection, patients with ongoing symptoms had a higher mortality than patients whose symptoms had resolved or who had been asymptomatic (6.0% (95%CI 3.2-8.7) vs. 2.4% (95%CI 1.4-3.4) vs. 1.3% (95%CI 0.6-2.0), respectively). Where possible, surgery should be delayed for at least 7 weeks following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients with ongoing symptoms ≥ 7 weeks from diagnosis may benefit from further delay.© 2021 The Authors. Anaesthesia published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Anaesthetists.
This article appears in the collection: Timing of surgery after COVID recovery.
Following their important 2020 study of the risk of surgery for COVID patients, the COVIDSurg Collaborative reports on their prospective cohort study aiming to determine the optimal delay for planned surgery after COVID infection.
Once again this was an international (116 countries), multicentre, prospective cohort study including all surgery types, over 140,000 patients, and 3,127 post-COVID. Once again the 30-day postoperative mortality was sobering: even in the 5-6 week post-COVID group, 30-day mortality was dramatically higher (OR 3.6, 2.0-5.2) compared to those without a COVID diagnosis. Worryingly the risk was consistent among both low-risk and high-risk surgical groups.
Although after the 7-week mark postoperative mortality was similar to non-post-COVID patients (OR 1.5, 0.9–2.1), those with persisting COVID symptoms still suffered a 6.0% 30-day mortality (3.2–8.7). (30-day mortality among non-COVID patients was 1.5% (1.4-1.5).
Post-COVID surgical timing takeaway:
Surgery should be delayed for at least 7 weeks after COVID, although those with persistent COVID symptoms will still have more than twice the 30-day mortality than those without.
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