Urological emergency activities during COVID-19 pandemic: Our experience.

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is causing a significant health emergency which is overturning dramatically routine activities in hospitals. The outbreak is generating the need to provide assistance to infected patients and in parallel to treat all nondeferrable oncological and urgent benign diseases. A panel of Italian urologists agreed on possible strategies for the reorganization of urological routine practices and on a set of recommendations that should facilitate a further planning of both inpatient visits and surgical activities during the COVID- 19 pandemic. According to this only urgent benign and nondeferrable oncological activities have been kept.

We have considered urgent outpatient visits requested by Emergency Department (ED) or by General Practitioner (GP) and emergency surgical procedures performed in our Urology Unit from March 9th to April 14th 2020, during COVID-19 pandemic. These figures have been compared to those observed last year from March 9th to April 14th 2019.

Our data show that urgent care visits decreased during COCID-19 pandemic (from 293 to 179). Urgent care visits of patients who accessed directly to the ED decreased (from 219 to 107) whereas the number of urgent care visits referred by GP remained unchanged (74 vs 72). Consequently, the rate of visits from ED decreased from 75% to 60% and the rate of visit requested by GP increased from 25% to 40% (p = 0.001). Particularly, the rate of visits for renal colic, LUTS and other not precisely defined disorders from ED decreased and the corresponding rates of visits of patients referred by GPs increased significantly (p = 0.0001, p = 0.0180 and p = 0.0185, respectively). The rate of visits for acute urinary retention, hematuria, sepsis, acute scrotum, cystitis, prostatitis and genito-urinary trauma from ED and GP remained unchanged. Finally, urgency endourology and surgical activities have been stable in relation to the same period last year.

Urological emergency activities during COVID- 19 pandemic are more appropriate since urgent outpatients' visits required by ED are decreased and emergency surgical and endourological procedures are stable.

Archivio italiano di urologia, andrologia : organo ufficiale [di] Societa italiana di ecografia urologica e nefrologica. 2020 Dec 17*** epublish ***

Elisa Cicerello, Mario S Mangano, Giandavide Cova, Alessio Zordani

Urology Unit, Department of Surgery, Ca' Foncello Hospital, Treviso. .