Home > Journals > Minerva Surgery > Past Issues > Minerva Surgery 2021 August;76(4) > Minerva Surgery 2021 August;76(4):382-7



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



Minerva Surgery 2021 August;76(4):382-7

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5691.20.08545-4


language: English

Emergency surgery in the time of Coronavirus: the pandemic effect

Jacopo MARTELLUCCI 1 , Andrea DAMIGELLA 1, Carlo BERGAMINI 1, Giovanni ALEMANNO 1, Desirè PANTALONE 1, Andrea CORATTI 1, 2, Paolo MUIESAN 1, 3, Fabio CIANCHI 1, 4, Paolo PROSPERI 1

1 Unit of Emergency Surgery, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Oncological and Robotic General Surgery, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy; 3 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 4 Unit of Digestive Surgery, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 epidemic became a challenge for Emergency Departments (ED) and a remarkable reduction in surgical emergencies has been widely noticed. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic period in the need of surgical emergencies.
METHODS: Between January 1, and May 31, 2020 all the consecutive general surgery emergencies performed by the Unit Hospital Emergency Surgery of the Careggi University (Florence, Italy) were prospectively recorded and compared to the same period of 2019. Demographic and clinical data were recorded and analyzed.
RESULTS: The number of surgical procedures decreased only in the month of March 2020 (compared to 2019), while in April the total numer of emergency surgical procedures was similar. Only appendectomy, complicated hernia repair and colonic resection were significantly reduced (40%, 48% and 33% respectively). The number of small intestine excision, cholecystectomy and lysis of peritoneal adhesions remained stable throughout the entire period. No statistically significant differences were found considering age, sex, Emergency Surgery Score, mortality, ICU postoperative admission and time between admission and surgery, even when analyzed with multivariate analysis for every single surgical procedure, suggesting a comparable disease severity and comorbility patterns. Mortality in COVID patients was 25%, compared to 7% of no-covid patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major changes in daily clinical practice, especially in areas such as Emergency. This has led to a temporary reduction and changes in the flow of patients to the emergency room, with implications also for emergency surgical activities.

KEY WORDS: Emergency service, hospital; Surgical procedures, operative; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Pandemics; Appendectomy

top of page