Assessment of the impact and reorganization of interventional pulmonology services at a tertiary care centre during nationwide lockdown for COVID-19 pandemic
COVID 19 pandemic has brought about a sea change in health care practices across the globe. All specialities have changed their way of working during the pandemic. In this study, we evaluated the impact of COVID-19 on the practice of interventional pulmonology at our centre. All interventional pulmonology procedures done during the three months after implementation of lockdown were evaluated retrospectively for patient demographics, clinical diagnosis, indication for procedure and diagnostic accuracy. The changes in practices, additional human resources requirement, the additional cost per procedure and impact on resident training were also assessed. Procedures done during the month of January 2020 were used as controls for comparison. Twenty-two flexible bronchoscopies (75.8%), four semirigid thoracoscopies (13.7%) and three EBUS-TBNAs (10.3%) were carried out during three month lockdown period as compared to 174 during January 2020. Twenty-three of the procedures were for the diagnostic indication (79%), and six were therapeutic (20.6%). The diagnostic yield in suspected neoplasm was 100% while for suspected infections was 58.3%. The percentage of independent procedures being done by residents reduced from 45.4% to 0%. The workforce required per procedure increased from 0.75 to 4-8, and the additional cost per procedure came out to be 135 USD. To conclude, COVID 19 has impacted the interventional pulmonology services in various ways and brought about a need to reorganize the services, while also thinking of innovative ideas to reduce cost without compromising patient safety.
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