Background: The EFLM Task Force Preparation of Labs for Emergencies (TF-PLE) created a survey that has been distributed to its members for gathering information on the key hazards experienced by European medical laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: The survey was distributed to over 12,000 potential contacts (laboratory workers) via an EFLM newsletter, with responses collected between May 8 and June 8, 2023.
Results: Two hundred replies were collected and examined from European laboratories. 69.7% and 78.1% of all responders said they were short on non-COVID and COVID reagents, respectively. Exactly half of respondents (50.0%) said that they could not complete all laboratory tests required for a specific period, but this figure climbed to 61.2% for COVID tests. Finally, 72.3% of respondents expressed exhaustion during the pandemic, and 61.2% reported increasing patient hostility.
Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on laboratory medicine in Europe. Cultural change, proactive planning, and even re-engineering in some parts of the laboratory industry may thus be necessary to prepare for future challenges.
Keywords: COVID-19; Laboratory Medicine; SARS-CoV-2; Survey.
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