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

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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 .

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 organization: HUS Heart and Lung Center
Keuhkosairauksien yksikkö
Korva-, nenä- ja kurkkutautien klinikka
Department of Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology
HUS Head and Neck Center
HUS Abdominal Center
Department of Bacteriology and Immunology
TRIMM - Translational Immunology Research Program
HUS Diagnostic Center
Olli Pekka Vapalahti / Principal Investigator
Viral Zoonosis Research Unit
Department of Virology
Verisuonikirurgian yksikkö
HUS Inflammation Center
Infektiosairauksien yksikkö
Date: 2021-12
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Infection Prevention in Practice
ISSN: 2590-0889
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.
Description: Publisher Copyright: © 2021
Subject: COVID-19
Isolation precaution
Patient outcome
Treatment delay
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
11832 Microbiology and virology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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