The impact of preoperative screening system on head and neck cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic: Recommendations from the nationwide survey in Japan

Head and Neck Cancer

Ota I and Asada Y. Auris Nasus Larynx 2020.


OBJECTIVE: the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), hospitals worldwide are at risk of nosocomial infection. Preoperative identification of COVID-19 in patients who are scheduled to be admitted to the hospital is essential to preventing the collapse of medical facility. In Japan, the preoperative observation and screening tests with the RT-PCR testing for the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and chest CT scan are recommended for head and neck cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHOD: We conducted surveys of the current situation in Japan through the internet.

RESULTS: Chest CT scan was fully performed (90%), but the RT-PCR testing was not adequately performed (51%).

CONCLUSION: Although the current screening system can be considered effective to a certain extent, we recommend further widespread use of pre-admission RT-PCR testing not only for patients with head and neck cancer surgery but also for all the hospitalized patients, in order to promote safer treatments, during the COVID-19 pandemic.