Isolation precautions cause minor delays in diagnostics and treatment of non-COVID patients

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335781

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Paajanen , J , Mäkinen , L K , Suikkila , A , Rehell , M , Javanainen , M , Lindahl , A , Kekäläinen , E , Kurkela , S , Halmesmäki , K , Anttila , V J & Lamminmäki , S 2021 , ' Isolation precautions cause minor delays in diagnostics and treatment of non-COVID patients ' , Infection Prevention in Practice , vol. 3 , no. 4 , 100178 , pp. 8 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infpip.2021.100178

Title: Isolation precautions cause minor delays in diagnostics and treatment of non-COVID patients
Author: Paajanen, J.; Mäkinen, L. K.; Suikkila, A.; Rehell, M.; Javanainen, M.; Lindahl, A.; Kekäläinen, E.; Kurkela, S.; Halmesmäki, K.; Anttila, V. J.; Lamminmäki, S.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, HUS Heart and Lung Center
University of Helsinki, HUS Heart and Lung Center
University of Helsinki, Korva-, nenä- ja kurkkutautien klinikka
University of Helsinki, Department of Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology
University of Helsinki, HUS Abdominal Center
University of Helsinki, Medicum
University of Helsinki, Medicum
University of Helsinki, HUS Abdominal Center
University of Helsinki, HUS Inflammation Center
University of Helsinki, Department of Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology
Date: 2021-12
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Infection Prevention in Practice
ISSN: 2590-0889
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335781
Abstract: Background: Isolation precautions are essential prevent spread of COVID-19 infection but may have a negative impact on inpatient care. The impact of these measures on non-COVID-19 patients remains largely unexplored. Aim: This study aimed to investigate diagnostic and treatment delays related to isolation precautions, the associated patient outcome, and the predisposing risk factors for delays. Methods: This observational study was conducted in seven Helsinki region hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland. The study used data on all non-COVID-19 inpatients, who were initially isolated due to suspected COVID-19, to estimate whether isolation precautions resulted in diagnostic or treatment delays. Results: Out of 683 non-COVID-19 patients, 33 (4.8%) had delays related to isolation precautions. Clinical condition deteriorated non-fatally in seven (1.0%) patients. The following events were associated with an increased risk of treatment or a diagnostic delay: more than three ward transfers (P = 0.025); referral to an incorrect speciality in the emergency department (P = 0.004); more than three SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests performed (P = 0.022); and where cancer was the final diagnosis (P = 0.018). In contrast, lower respiratory tract symptoms (P = 0.013) decreased the risk. Conclusions: The use of isolation precautions for patients who did not have COVID-19 had minor negative effects on patient outcomes. The present study underlines the importance of targeting diagnostic efforts to patients with unspecified symptoms and to those with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Thorough investigations to achieve an accurate diagnosis improves the prognosis of patients and facilitates appropriate targeting of hospital resources.
Subject: COVID-19
Isolation precaution
Non-COVID-19
Patient outcome
Treatment delay
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
11832 Microbiology and virology
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