COVID-19 possibly delayed 28M elective procedures

The COVID-19 pandemic could've canceled or delayed around 28.4 million elective procedures during its peak 12-week disruption, according to a study in the British Journal of Surgery.

Researchers used a prediction model to estimate how many elective procedures were canceled on a worldwide basis, considering data for 190 countries.

They found:

1. Some 28,404,603 operations would have either been canceled or postponed as a result of COVID-19.

2. About 90.2 percent of operations would've been for a benign disease.

3. Researchers believe the overall 12-week cancellation rate would hit 72.3 percent.

4. If countries resume elective surgeries with a 20 percent increase in normal surgical volume, it would take a median of 45 weeks to clear the backlog of canceled or postponed cases.

Researchers concluded: "A very large number of operations will be cancelled or postponed due to disruption caused by COVID‐19. Governments should mitigate against this major burden on patients by developing recovery plans and implementing strategies to safely restore surgical activity."

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