OBJECTIVE: The pandemic effects due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 caused a health emergency. We decided to carry out a study with the aim to investigate the changes in patients’ tendencies for admission to the emergency department for surgical diseases, and the related hospitalizations and urgent surgery rates. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We carried out a retrospective, observational study on patients who received emergency general surgery consultation at our University Hospital during the two COVID-19 pandemic periods and on the same dates one year before. The patients’ demographic characteristics, their hospitalization in surgical department and the data about those who underwent urgent surgery were retrospectively recorded. RESULTS: In the period March-April 2020 there were 95 surgical visits recorded; among these patients, 25% required hospitalization and 12.63% underwent urgent surgery. In the period November-December-January 2020-2021 there were 156 surgical consultations, of which 35.26% required hospitalization and 21.15% underwent urgent surgery. In both considered periods we found that the number of surgical consultations decreased compared to the same periods of the previous year. Moreover, we found a higher rate of hospitalization and need for urgent surgery. CONCLUSIONS: We documented a significant reduction in the overall number of surgical consultations and an increase of hospitalization and urgent surgery rates.
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