Surgical Site Infections in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Surgery During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Preliminary Data from an Italian Oncologic Hub
Sonia Cappelli, Fabio Pelle, Marco Clementi, Maddalena Barba, Patrizia Vici, Elisabetta Capomolla, Laura Pizzuti, Diletta Corallino, Isabella Sperduti, Franco Graziano, Loredana Piarulli, Flavia Cavicchi
Background: Over the Covid-19 pandemic, the compelling need of containing the virus spread while providing diseased people with adequate assistance has inevitably reflected on treatment priorities, which have been sometimes radically revised according to the intrinsic nature of the institution considered and its role and action within the pandemic context. We report on the experience matured at the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute concerning the effects of the restriction measures adopted
... during the pandemic on the outcomes of surgical site infections (SSIs) in breast cancer patients (BC-pts) undergoing non-deferrable breast cancer surgery. Methods: Within the frame of an observational study, we compared evidence from two cohorts, namely, the lockdown cohort (LDC) and non-lockdown cohort (NLDC). Patients from the LDC underwent breast cancer surgery between the 15th March 2020 and the 4th May 2020. Breast surgery was performed by the same team and postsurgical controls were performed regularly for a minimum of 12-months. SSIs were defined according to the criteria established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Results: The LDC originally included 79 breast cancer patients, of whom 62 provided data to the final analysis. In the LDC, initially 64 breast cancer patients, only 52 were finally considered. No relevant differences emerged between LDC and NLDC by general characteristics. We observed significant evidence of lower SSIs in the subgroups of patients having undergone skin reducing mastectomy compared with the remaining subgroups (p=0.003). The overall number of surgical site infections was 10 (8.7%), and the median time to their occurrence17.1 days (7- 42). In the NLDC, 7 (13.5) SSIs were identified, with a median time to occurrence of 18.2 days (7-42). In the LDC, 3 (4.8%) SSIs occurred, with a median time to occurrence of 14.3 days (7 to 21). None of these patients was in need of re-hospitalization and there were no delays in adjuvant treatment starting. Conclusions: The restrictive measures issued during the lockdown period seemed to lower the SSI rates in breast cancer patients undergoing non-deferrable breast surgery, although, caution is needed due to the limited sample size.