Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on acute appendicitis: A retrospective cohort study
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on acute appendicitis
Keywords:appendicitis, COVID-19 pandemic, complicated appendicitis
Background/Aim: The probability of infection, especially from hospitals, and fear of contracting a disease caused changes in the clinical courses of many emergency diseases during the pandemic period. This article aimed to compare the histopathological and laboratory investigation results of acute appendicitis cases in a state hospital working as a pandemic hospital before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Patients undergoing appendectomy between March 2019 and March 2021 in the General Surgery Department of our hospital were included in the study. The period between March 2019 and March 2020 and the period between March 2020 and March 2021 were considered as the period before the pandemic and the pandemic period, respectively. Patients in the period before the pandemic were classified as Group A and the ones in the pandemic period as Group B. The patients were randomly selected from the computer system. Data of all patients, including ages, genders, presentation times to the hospital after initiation of pain, laboratory values, and histopathological investigation results were analyzed retrospectively.
Results: A total of 400 patients, including 200 patients in the period before the pandemic and 200 patients during the pandemic period, were included in the study. The mean age of patients who participated in the study before the pandemic was 35.85 (12.40) years, and during the pandemic period was 35.13 (12.30) years (P=0.558). The mean leukocyte values in the period before the pandemic, 13.23 (4.32), and during the pandemic period, 14.67 (4.09), were statistically different (P<0.001). The mean neutrophil value in the period before the pandemic, 10.08 (4.39), was found to be statistically lower than during the pandemic period, 11.26 (4.41) (P=0.007). In the histopathological investigation, one hundred and sixty patients were evaluated to be complicated and 40 patients to be non-complicated in the period before the pandemic. One hundred and ninety-six patients were evaluated to be complicated and 4 patients to be non-complicated during the pandemic period.
Conclusion: The fear of transmission of the virus has caused patients to be admitted to hospitals late. Therefore, the number of complicated appendicitis has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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