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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 208-214

Suggested modifications in oncology/hematology inpatient service in Saudi Arabia during coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic


1 Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Oncology Centre, Mansoura University, Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt
2 Nursing Administration, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
3 Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
4 Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; College of Medicine, Umm AlQura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shereef Elsamany
24246 Al Mashair, Oncology Center, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah.
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajm.ajm_166_20

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Background: Management of cancer patients in the current era of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses significant challenges on health-care systems. However, it is mandatory to keep the required level of care of cancer patients while taking the necessary precautions to maintain the safety of both patients and health-care professionals (HCPs). The present survey explores suggested modifications of inpatient oncology/hematology care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: A web-based questionnaire using SurveyMonkey was distributed to HCPs taking care of inpatient hematology/oncology service including oncologists, hematologists, and inpatient nurses in Saudi Arabia. The 25 items selected for the survey focused on five domains including characteristics of HCPs, COVID-19 infection risk among admitted patients, possible modifications related to physicians/nursing practice, and suggested infection control measures. Clinical sensibility assessment was conducted to evaluate the comprehensiveness, clarity, and face validity of our instrument on a scale of 1–5. The percentages of HCP responses to the suggested modifications in the survey were assessed in descriptive statistics to summarize data and report views of participants. Results: Of 215 HCPs, 195 responded and completed the survey. Of the respondents, 30.4% were medical oncologists, whereas hematologists and nurses constituted 6.7% and 62.9% of the participants, respectively. The majority of respondents (87.6%) work in governmental hospitals. The majority of participants (82%) have diagnosed patients with COVID-19 in their hospitals and modifications in inpatient practice during the COVID-19 pandemic were supported by 95% of respondents. The supported modifications by participants include enhanced use of oral medications (83.5%), phone calls to admitted stable patients by physicians, instead of physical interview (77%), decreasing frequency of vital signs assessment in stable patients (91%), decreasing the duration of stay in patients rooms (89%), using peripheral instead of central lines (76%), using video-based educational materials to patients through hospital TV network (91%), testing for COVID -19 before scheduled radiology imaging and procedures (74%), and performing routine nasopharyngeal swabs for HCPs (67%). Conclusion: Several modifications in inpatient oncology/hematology practice were supported by the survey participants. These suggestions need to be discussed on local basis considering local infrastructure, available resources, and level of required care.


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