Otolaryngology activity in two hospitals in northern and central Italy differently affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Sci Prog. 2021 Apr-Jun;104(2):36850421998487. doi: 10.1177/0036850421998487.


The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic had a significant impact on the Italian healthcare system, although geographical differences were present; regions in northern Italy have been the most severely affected while regions in the south of the country were relatively spared. Otolaryngologists were actively involved in the management of the pandemic. In this work, we analyzed and compared the otolaryngology surgical activity performed during the pandemic in two large public hospitals located in different Italian regions. In northern Italy, otolaryngologists were mainly involved in performing surgical tracheotomies in COVID-19 positive patients and contributed to the management of these patients in intensive care units. In central Italy, where the burden of the infection was significantly lower, otolaryngologists focused on diagnosis and treatment of emergency and oncology patients. This analysis confirms the important role of the otolaryngology specialists during the pandemic, but also highlights specific differences between two large hospitals in different Italian regions.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; otolaryngology; surgical activity; tracheostomy.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • COVID-19 / surgery
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Geography
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Medical Oncology / organization & administration*
  • Otolaryngology / organization & administration*
  • Pandemics*
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tracheotomy