Surgeries should be delayed 7 weeks after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, study suggests

Patients who have COVID-19 should delay getting a surgical procedure at least seven weeks because of increased postoperative death rates, according to a study published March 9 in Anesthesia.

Researchers studied 30-day postoperative mortality rates in 3,127 patients with COVID-19 and 137,104 patients without it.

Adjusted 30-day mortality in patients without COVID-19 was 1.5 percent, while patients with COVID-19 had increased postoperative mortality rates during the following recovery periods: zero to two weeks; three to four weeks; and five to six weeks.

COVID-19 patients who waited at least seven weeks for surgery had a similar mortality rate as the baseline group. However, COVID-19 patients who were still experiencing symptoms continued to have higher mortality rates after seven weeks than baseline patients or COVID-19 patients whose symptoms subsided.

Researchers recommended patients with COVID-19 delay surgical procedures at least seven weeks, and that patients with ongoing symptoms continue to delay until symptoms subside.

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