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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Apr 12

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.06146-6

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric surgical services: a scoping review

Farah YASMIN 1 , Muhammad D. BIN ZAFAR 1, Ariba SALMAN 1, Umar FAROOQUE 2, Muhammad S. ASGHAR 3, Anosh A. KHAN 1, Osama MOHIUDDIN 1, Syed A. HASSAN 4

1 MBBS, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan; 2 Department of Neurology, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan; 3 Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University Hospital (Ohja Campus), Karachi, Pakistan; 4 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA


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Inevitably, along with other healthcare specializations, pediatric surgery was affected by the Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Children were reported to manifest mild to moderate symptoms and mortality was primarily observed in patients aged <1 year and having underlying comorbidities. The majority of the cases were asymptomatic in children, hence, posing a challenge for pediatric surgery centers to take drastic measures to reduce the virus transmission. Telemedicine was introduced and outpatient consultations were conducted online as out-patient clinics were closed. Elective surgeries were postponed with delayed appointments while the healthcare sector was diverted towards tackling COVID-19. Case urgency was classified and triaged, leading to limited surgeries being performed only in COVID-19 negative patients following an extensive screening process. The screening process consisted of online history taking and RT-PCR tests. Newer practices such as mouth rinse, video laryngoscopy, and anesthesia were introduced to restrict patients from crying, coughing, and sneezing, as an attempt to avoid aerosolization of viral particles and safely conduct pediatric surgeries during the pandemic. Surgical trainees were also affected as the smaller number of surgeries conducted reduced the clinical experience available to medical enthusiasts. There is still room for advanced practices to be introduced in pediatric surgery, and restore all kinds of surgeries to improve the quality of life of the patient.


KEY WORDS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2); Children; Pediatric surgery; Immunosuppressive

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