Trends in urological emergencies in the Era of COVID-19


Int. braz j urol.




ABSTRACT Purpose: To evaluate trends in emergency room (ER) urological conditions during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analyses of renal colic, hematuria, and urinary retention in ER's admissions of a tertiary hospital during the lockdown period (March 19 to May 4, 2020) in Israel. Patient's demographics and clinical characteristics were compared to those in corresponding periods during 2017-2019, with estimated changes in ER arrival and waiting times, utilization of imaging tests, numbers of hospitalizations, and urgent procedure rates. Results: The number of ER visits for renal colic, hematuria, and urinary retention decreased by 37%, from an average of 451 (2017-2019) to 261 patients (2020). Clinical severity was similar between groups, with no major differences in patient's age, vital signs, or laboratory results. The proportion of ER visits during night hours increased significantly during lockdown (44.8% vs. 34.2%, p=0.002). There was a decrease in renal colic admission rate from 19.8% to 8.4% (p=0.001) without differences in urgent procedures rates, while the 30-day revisit rate decreased from 15.8% to 10.3% during lockdown (p=0.02). Conclusions: General lockdown was accompanied by a significant decrease in common urological presentations to the ER. This change occurred across the clinical severity spectrum of renal colic, hematuria, and urinary retention. In the short term, it appears that patients who sought treatment did not suffer from complications that could be attributed to late arrival or delay in treatment. The long-term implications of abstinence from seeking emergent care are not known and require further investigation.

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