Nosocomial infection with SARS-Cov-2 within Departments of Digestive Surgery

J Visc Surg. 2020 Jun;157(3S1):S13-S18. doi: 10.1016/j.jviscsurg.2020.04.016. Epub 2020 Apr 27.


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic imposed a drastic reduction in surgical activity in order to respond to the influx of hospital patients and to protect uninfected patients by avoiding hospitalization. However, little is known about the risk of infection during hospitalization or its consequences. The aim of this work was to report a series of patients hospitalized on digestive surgery services who developed a nosocomial infection with SARS-Cov-2 virus.

Methods: This is a non-interventional retrospective study carried out within three departments of digestive surgery. The clinical, biological and radiological data of the patients who developed a nosocomial infection with SARS-Cov-2 were collected from the computerized medical record.

Results: From March 1, 2020 to April 5, 2020, among 305 patients admitted to digestive surgery departments, 15 (4.9%) developed evident nosocomial infection with SARS-Cov-2. There were nine men and six women, with a median age of 62 years (35-68 years). All patients had co-morbidities. The reasons for hospitalization were: surgical treatment of cancer (n=5), complex emergencies (n=5), treatment of complications linked to cancer or its treatment (n=3), gastroplasty (n=1), and stoma closure (n=1). The median time from admission to diagnosis of SARS-Cov-2 infection was 34 days (5-61 days). In 12 patients (80%), the diagnosis was made after a hospital stay of more than 14 days (15-63 days). At the end of the follow-up, two patients had died, seven were still hospitalized with two of them on respiratory assistance, and six patients were discharged post-hospitalization.

Conclusions: The risk of SARS-Cov-2 infection during hospitalization or following digestive surgery is a real and potentially serious risk. Measures are necessary to minimize this risk in order to return to safe surgical activity.

Keywords: COVID-19; Digestive surgery; Nosocomial transmission; SARS-cov-2.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / transmission*
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures*
  • Female
  • Hospital Departments
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies