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Minerva Dental and Oral Science 2022 December;71(6):308-17

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-6329.22.04645-9


lingua: Inglese

Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the diagnostic delay of oral carcinoma: a retrospective analysis

Francesco LEMMA 1, 2 , Daniela PARRINO 1, 2, Guido BISSOLOTTI 1, 2, Enzo EMANUELLI 1, 2, Roberto DI CARLO 1, 2, Stefano FUSETTI 1, 2

1 Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; 2 Section of Otolaryngology, Department of Neuroscience (DNS), University of Padua, Padua, Italy

BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to investigate how the organisation of healthcare activity during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic affected the timing of diagnosis of oral carcinoma in the Functional Head and Neck Department of Padua (Italy). This study gives an effective temporal dimension of the diagnostic delay that occurred during the pandemic, compared with data from the literature.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the diagnostic path of a patient affected by oral cancer during COVID-19 pandemic was performed. The time elapsed from the patient’s awareness of the problem to the first curative surgical intervention was considered both during the blockage of elective care activities and in the period immediately following. The results were compared to a group of patients treated in the same period of the year 2019.
RESULTS: The territorial time was 53.9% longer in the post-lockdown period than in the lockdown period (39.6 days) while the hospital time was 56.6% shorter than in the post-lockdown period (56 days).
CONCLUSIONS: The response time of territorial medicine has been longer during the pandemic peak. The unintentional creation of exclusive pathways for oncological patients speeded up the diagnostic process. The organization and accessibility of operating theatres can become particularly problematic during the acute phases of a pandemic.

KEY WORDS: Mouth neoplasms; Head and neck neoplasms; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2

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