OBJECTIVE: Over the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the demand for critical care beds among medical services has rapidly exceeded its supply. Elective surgery has comprehensively been drastically limited and allocating intensive care beds to emergency cases or to high risk scheduled elective cases has become an even more difficult task. Here we present our experience which could help to handle undelayable surgical procedures during this emergency.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In 2019, eight patients (4 men, 4 women) with a mean age of 88 years, needing emergency abdominal surgery underwent awake open surgery at our Department of Surgery. All of them were identified as fragile patients at preoperative evaluation by the anesthesiologist. In all cases, locoregional anesthesia (spinal, epidural or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia) was performed. Intraoperative and postoperative pain has been monitored and regularly assessed.
RESULTS: None of the patients was intubated. Mean operative time was 80 minutes (minimum 30 minutes, maximum 130 minutes). Intraoperative and postoperative pain were both well controlled. None of them required postoperative intensive care support. No perioperative complications were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on our preliminary case series, awake open surgery has resulted feasible and safe. This approach has allowed to perform undelayable major abdominal surgeries on fragile patients when intensive care beds were not available. Surely, it represents a helpful alternative in the COVID-19 era. A streamlining of workflows would fast-track both fragile patients management, as well as healthcare workers’ tasks and activity.Free PDF Download
To cite this article
A. Romanzi, M. Galletti, L. Macchi, A. Putortì, F. Rossi, R. Scolaro, A. Vannelli
Awake laparotomy: is locoregional anesthesia a functional option for major abdominal surgeries in the COVID-19 era?
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 24 - N. 9