Universal COVID-19 pre-procedural swabs in children in a developing country: A comparison of findings over two transmission waves

Tan, Chee Yang and Theseira, Amelia Marie and Ahmad Zubaidi, Syukri and Atiya, Nadia and Sanmugam, Anand and Singaravel, Srihari and Nah, Shireen Anne (2022) Universal COVID-19 pre-procedural swabs in children in a developing country: A comparison of findings over two transmission waves. Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare, 31. ISSN 2010-1058, DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/20101058221131656.

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Aim: The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has strained healthcare systems worldwide. Some institutions have implemented additional precautionary measures such as pre-procedural swabbing (PPS) to reduce transmission in patients and healthcare workers. We evaluate our experience with universal pre-procedural screening for COVID-19 in low-risk pediatric patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients aged 18 years and below who underwent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assay swabs in our center over two waves (1st May 2020 to 31st July 2020 and 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021). We included patients who underwent rRT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 prior to any procedures requiring general anesthesia and were deemed low risk for COVID-19 according to our institutional screening criteria. All study patients were followed up for 14 days post-procedure. Results: Of 2065 swabs done for patients aged 18 years and below during the study period, 645 (31.2) were pre-procedural swabs. Patients were aged 4.2 years (median, interquartile range: 1.6 years–9.8 years). Two patients (0.3) tested positive for COVID-19 by PPS, detected during Period 2 – both had risk criteria which were overlooked by healthcare workers. Within 14 days post-procedure, 10 patients had unscheduled readmissions and 15 required repeat rRT-PCR, all of which were negative. Conclusions: In patients deemed low risk for COVID-19 infection according to our screening criteria, routine pre-procedural swabbing returns a low positive rate. Our findings can guide screening protocols at institutions that provide surgical services during the COVID-19 pandemic. © The Author(s) 2022.

Item Type: Article
Funders: None
Additional Information: Cited by: 0; All Open Access, Gold Open Access
Uncontrolled Keywords: RNA polymerase; Adolescent; Adult; Article; Blood donor; Breast surgery; Child; Comparative study; Coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19 testing; Developing country; Disease surveillance; Dyspnea; Elective surgery; Emergency surgery; Endoscopy; Female; Fever; Gastroenterology; General anesthesia; Headache; Health care personnel; Health care system; Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Hospital readmission; Human; Infant; Laparoscopy; Length of stay; Male; Maxillofacial surgery; Neurosurgery; Newborn; Ophthalmology; Orthopedics; Otorhinolaryngology; Pandemic; Pediatric patient; Pediatrics; Plastic surgery; Polymerase chain reaction; Preoperative care; Prospective study; Real time reverse Transcription polymerase chain reaction; Retrospective study; Risk factor; SARS coronavirus; Sore throat; Swabbing; Thorax surgery; Tonsillitis; Vaccination; Virus transmission
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine > Surgery Department
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2023 08:04
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2023 08:51
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/43965

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