Vlad Mihai Croitoru¹, Diana Bogdan¹, Ioana Mihaela Dinu¹, Monica Ionela Miron¹, Irina Mihaela Cazacu¹’2, Ioana Niculina Luca¹, Iulia Gramaticu¹, Florina Buica¹,2, Catalin Guiu¹, Adina Emilia Croitoru¹,2
¹ Department of Medical Oncology, Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania
2 Faculty of Medicine, Titu Maiorescu, Bucharest, Romania
Corresponding author: Irina Mihaela Cazacu, Email: email@example.com
Published: Journal of Medical and Radiation Oncology 1 (2021) 35-42, , , - DOI: 10.53011/JMRO.2021.01.03
Background: Cancer patients represent one of the most challenging group to care for during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this study, we aim to present the experience of our Oncology Department during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Methods: The activity of our Oncology Department was retrospectively analyzed from 16th March to 15th December 2020 to investigate how the organizational changes related to Covid-19 pandemic influenced the oncological activity in comparison with the same period in 2019. We also assessed the cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections observed among patients and oncology health professionals from our department.
Results: We report an important shift of the oncology activity at our department. The number of inpatients decreased by 50% while the number of treatments administered in the outpatient treatment unit decreased by 13%. We performed 4775 swabbing tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection in 1147 symptomatic and asymptomatic patients before receiving treatment or undergoing imaging examinations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in 68 (5.9%) patients. Most of the patients were asymptomatic at the moment of the diagnosis (60%). Two patients were admitted to the intensive therapy unit; 12 had severe pneumonia and were hospitalized. All the other patients had a mild form of Covid-19 and were referred to home-based management, according to the local practice and clinical indications. Four patients died of Covid-19 related complications and 32 patients have already resumed their oncological treatment.
Conclusion: Our experience demonstrates that timely adoption of protective measures and coordinated efforts of all medical staff can lead to effective protection of patients with cancer and healthcare professionals, while minimally disrupting adequate cancer care.