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J.Jpn. Surg. Soc.. 122(6): 613-617, 2021
EFFECTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON SURGICAL DEPARTMENT OUTPATIENTS
In the early stages of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, attempts were made at each hospital to reduce the absolute number of outpatients by postponing consultations and prescribing via telephone. On the other hand, patients themselves tended to be afraid of in-hospital infections and chose not to undergo general health or cancer screenings. It is necessary to understand that avoiding consultations can cause serious worsening of prognosis including cancer progression. Subsequently, the number of outpatient visits increased, but to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections from outside the hospital, interviews at the entrance, temperature measurements, and the use of disinfectants became common, and many hospitals restricted visitors. The risk of infection in emergency outpatient departments is high, and measures such as surgical masks, faceguards, and PCR tests are essential. Outpatient infection prevention is extremely important to prevent the outbreak of hospital clusters. In the future, it is expected that vaccination rates will increase and prevention measures will converge while surgical outpatient departments continue to be vigilant.
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