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Presently, evidence guiding clinicians on the optimal approach to safely screen patients for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to a nonemergent hospital procedure is scarce. In this report, we describe our experience in screening for SARS-CoV-2 prior to semiurgent and urgent hospital procedures.
Retrospective case series.
A single tertiary-care medical center.
Our study cohort included patients ≥18 years of age who had semiurgent or urgent hospital procedures or surgeries.
Overall, 625 patients were screened for SARS-CoV-2 using a combination of phone questionnaire (7 days prior to the anticipated procedure), RT-PCR and chest computed tomography (CT) between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020.
Of the 625 patients, 520 scans (83.2%) were interpreted as normal; 1 (0.16%) had typical features of COVID-19; 18 scans (2.88%) had indeterminate features of COVID-19; and 86 (13.76%) had atypical features of COVID-19. In total, 640 RT-PCRs were performed, with 1 positive result (0.15%) in a patient with a CT scan that yielded an atypical finding. Of the 18 patients with chest CTs categorized as indeterminate, 5 underwent repeat negative RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swab 1 week after their initial swab. Also, 1 patient with a chest CT categorized as typical had a follow-up repeat negative RT-PCR, indicating that the chest CT was likely a false positive. After surgery, none of the patients developed signs or symptoms suspicious of COVID-19 that would indicate the need for a repeated RT-PCR or CT scan.
In our experience, chest CT scanning did not prove provide valuable information in detecting asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in our low-prevalence population.
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