Health system capacitiesImpactHealth impactPreventionEpidemiological capacitiesSurveillance

Slowing the Spread and Minimizing the Impact of COVID-19

Authors: Ethan L Mackenzie and al, Source: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2020

Slowing the Spread and Minimizing the Impact of COVID-19

Background: COVID-19, a novel coronavirus originating in December 2019 in Wuhan, China,
has spread rapidly throughout the globe over 3 months. On March 11, 2020 the World Health
Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. COVID-19 represents a nearly
unprecedented threat to both the public health and the durability of our healthcare systems and
will profoundly affect the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. The objective of this paper
is to provide a natural history of COVID-19 – including virology, epidemiology and transmission
patterns – and a guide for plastic surgeons regarding patient and resource management.
Methods: The authors reviewed existing literature regarding COVID-19, both primary research
and secondary reviews, via PubMed queries, and recommendations from relevant professional
organizations (e.g., American College of Surgeons and American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
The literature and recommendations were summarized to provide a specific guide for plastic
Results: Internationally, over 5.7 million cases and 357,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been
reported at time of writing. No pharmacological treatments have been identified, but
epidemiological strategies were identified to prevent viral spread, preserve healthcare resources,
and protect patients and surgeons globally. Specific recommendations for plastic and
reconstructive surgeons include postponing elective cases and transitioning to
telecommunication platforms for patient consultations and education.
Conclusions: COVID-19 represents a nearly unprecedented threat to the public health and the
durability of healthcare systems in the contemporary era. While plastic and reconstructive
surgery may seem relatively remote from the pandemic in direct patient care and exposure, our
field can significantly enhance healthcare resource management.

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