Backlog to Surgery due to COVID-19 and Considerations to Address to Catch-up Safely

On March 11th 2020, COVID-19 met all criteria to be considered a pandemic. The resulting halt in surgery led to an estimated 28.4 million elective surgery cancellations around the globe.

Figures suggest that the backlog to surgery may take years to clear, causing huge detrimental effects to both the economy and the health of patients. Addressing this surgical backlog, whilst ensuring the health and safety of healthcare professionals and patients during surgery, will require a multifaceted approach. Key aspects, such as providing a sufficient and stable supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), adequate and efficient testing of healthcare staff and patients, and availability of post-acute care, need to be secured before surgery can recommence safely in this COVID-19 era.


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