Impact of the pandemic on cancer care: Lessons learnt from a rural cancer center in the first 3 months

This article was originally published here

J Surg Oncol. 2020 Jul 30. doi: 10.1002/jso.26144. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent declaration of pandemic was an unprecedented event, which created different complex situations for treatment of cancer patients. A critical assessment of the response to this calamity and its impact on healthcare workers (HCWs) and patient care in a dedicated cancer hospital is analyzed.

SITE OF STUDY: Indrayani Cancer Hospital, Alandi, Pune, India.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Due to the pandemic, standard operating protocols were decided on for each department. Analysis of the impact on healthcare was done by comparing the number of patients taking treatment in the lockdown period in India with the previous year’s data in the same corresponding period in all three departments. The impact of COVID infection on the HCW and its repercussions were analyzed.

RESULTS: There was a marked decrease in the total number of patients during the lockdown period. The most affected department was surgical oncology. None of our patients contracted COVID-19, but one HCW was found to be positive.

CONCLUSION: Strict adherence to protocols along with the support of the government authorities can prevent the spread of this virus thus providing optimal patient outcomes. The treatment of patients with cancer should not be delayed, even in times of a pandemic.

PMID:32734609 | DOI:10.1002/jso.26144