Guidelines for the management of surgical departments in non-uniform hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pol Przegl Chir. 2020 Apr 15;92(2):48-59. doi: 10.5604/01.3001.0014.1039.


In the last several weeks we have been witnessing the exponentially progressing pandemic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. As the number of people infected with SARS-CoV2 escalates, the problem of surgical management of patients requiring urgent surgery is increasing. Patients infected with SARS-CoV2 virus but with negative test results will appear in general hospitals and may pose a risk to other patients and hospital staff. Health care workers constitutes nearly 17% of infected population in Poland, therefore early identification of infected people becomes a priority to protect human resources and to ensure continuity of the access to a surgical care. Both surgical operations, and endoscopic procedures are considered as interventions with an increased risk of infection. Therefore, determining the algorithm becomes crucial for qualifying patients for surgical treatment, but also to stratify the risk of personnel being infected during surgery and to adequately protect staff. Each hospital should be logistically prepared for the need to perform urgent surgery on a patient with suspected or confirmed infection, including personal protective equipment. Limited availability of the equipment, working under pressure and staff shortages in addition to a highly contagious pathogen necessitate a pragmatic management of human resources in health care. Instant synchronized action is needed, and clear uniform guidelines are essential for the healthcare system to provide citizens with the necessary surgical care while protecting both patients, and staff. This document presents current recommendations regarding surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland.

Keywords: COVID-19; FFP3 masks; SARS-CoV-2; epidemic; guidelines; hospital; pandemic; personal protective equipment; recommendations; surgery; surgical care; virus.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • General Surgery / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • SARS-CoV-2