Surgery in COVID-19 positive patients should be delayed to reduce death risk- Study

 A new global study has revealed that surgery for other ailments in COVID-19 positive patients should be delayed by at least seven weeks to stave off death.

Experts at the University of Birmingham led more than 25,000 surgeons from 116 countries, including Nigeria, to arrive at the research finding.

Notable among countries where the research was conducted are Australia, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A.

The result of the study, published by the University of Birmingham was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.

It showed that the researchers, part of the COVID Surgery Collaborative, collected data from 140,727 patients.

The patients were spread across 1,674 hospitals in 116 countries.

The study showed that surgeries that took place up to six weeks after COVID-19 positive diagnosis were associated with increased risk of death.

The researchers discovered that patients were more than two-and-a-half times more likely to die after their surgery if the procedure took place six weeks following a positive diagnosis for COVID-19

The research’s national lead in Nigeria, Prof. Adesoji Ademuyiwa, said in the publication that “it is imperative to determine the SARS-Cov-2 status of patients before going for surgery.’’

Prof. Ademuyiwa of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, added that “surgery should be delayed in COVID-19 positive patients for at least seven weeks or more if it is not an emergency.’’

He said also that while it was known that infection with SARS-CoV-2 during surgery increased mortality, there was little evidence regarding the optimal duration of delay.

The result showed that patients who became infected with COVID-19 after their surgeries were excluded from the study.

The publication said following a delay of seven weeks or more, patients with on-going COVID-19 symptoms (6 per cent) had higher mortality than patients whose symptoms had resolved (2.4 per cent) or who had been asymptomatic (1.3 per cent)

Co-lead author of the publication, Mr Aneel Bhangu of the University of Birmingham also said: “decisions regarding delaying surgery should be tailored for each patient.’’

He said this was because “the possible advantages of a minimum seven-week delay following SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, must be balanced against the potential risks of delay.’’

“For some urgent surgeries; for example for advanced tumours, surgeons and patients may decide that the risks of delay are not justified.’’ Bhangu stressed. (NAN)