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We aimed to compare access to gynecologic oncology care at a private and a city hospital, both of which closed for a period of time because of Hurricane Sandy.
This was a cross-sectional study of gynecologic oncology chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgical patients from October 29, 2012 (the eve of the storm), to February 7, 2013 (the reopening of the city hospital). New referrals during this time were excluded. Delays in chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery were compared.
Analysis included 113 patients: 59 private patients (52.2%) and 54 city patients (47.8%). Of the private patients, 33/59 received chemotherapy (55.9%), 1/59 received radiotherapy (1.7%), and 28/59 had planned surgery (47.5%). Of the city patients, 40/54 received chemotherapy (74.1%), 7/54 received radiotherapy (12.3%), and 18/54 had planned surgery (33.3%). The mean delay in chemotherapy was 7.6 days at the private hospital and 21.7 days at the city hospital (P=0.0004). The mean delay in scheduled surgery was 14.2 days at the private hospital and 22.7 days at the city hospital (P=0.3979). The mean delay in radiotherapy was 0.0 days at the private hospital and 25.0 days at the city hospital (P=0.0046). Loss to follow-up rates were 3/59 of the private patients (5.1%) and 3/54 of the city patients (5.6%).
Gynecologic oncology care was maintained during a natural disaster despite temporary closure and relocation of services. Disparity in care was in access to chemotherapy. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:605–608)
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