Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Activity of Physicians Working in the Areas of Head and Neck Surgery and Otorhinolaryngology


Int. Arch. Otorhinolaryngol.




Abstract Introduction Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infection caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and it is highly transmissible, especially through respiratory droplets. To prepare the health system for the care of these patients also led to a restriction in the activity of several medical specialties. Physicians who work with patients affected by diseases of the head and neck region constitute one of the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19 and also most affected by the interruption of their professional activities. Objective The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of head and neck surgeons and otorhinolaryngologists in Brazil. Methods An anonymous online survey of voluntary participation was applied, containing 30 questions regarding demographic aspects, availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and impact on the routine of head and neck surgeons and otorhinolaryngologists, as well as clinical oncologists and radiation oncologists who work with head and neck diseases. Results Seven hundred and twenty-nine answers were received in a period of 4 days, ∼ 40 days after the 1st confirmed case in Brazil. With professionals working in public and private services, there was a high level of concerns with the disease and its consequences, limited availability of PPE and a significant decrease in the volume of specialized medical care. Conclusion The study demonstrated a direct impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical practice of specialties related to the treatment of patients with diseases of the head and neck region already in the beginning of the illness management in Brazil.

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