Postoperative Outcomes in Surgical COVID-19 Patients

A Multicenter Cohort Study

François Martin Carrier; Éva Amzallag; Vincent Lecluyse; Geneviève Côté; Étienne J. Couture; Frédérick D'Aragon; Stanislas Kandelman; Alexis F. Turgeon; Alain Deschamps; Roy Nitulescu; Codjo Djignefa Djade; Martin Girard; Pierre Beaulieu; Philippe Richebé


BMC Anesthesiol. 2021;21(15) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Data on postoperative outcomes of the COVID-19 patient population is limited. We described COVID-19 patients who underwent a surgery and the pandemic impact on surgical activities.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter cohort study between March 13 and June 192,020. We included all COVID-19 patients who underwent surgery in nine centres of the Province of Québec, the Canadian province most afflicted by the pandemic. We also included concomitant suspected COVID-19 (subsequently confirmed not to have COVID-19) patients and patients who had recovered from it. We collected data on baseline characteristics, postoperative complications and postoperative mortality. Our primary outcome was 30-day mortality. We also collected data on overall surgical activities during this first wave and during the same period in 2019.

Results: We included 44 COVID-19 patients, 18 suspected patients, and 18 patients who had recovered from COVID-19 at time of surgery. Among the 44 COVID-19 patients, 31 surgeries (71%) were urgent and 16 (36%) were major. In these patients, pulmonary complications were frequent (25%) and 30-day mortality was high (15.9%). This mortality was higher in patients with symptoms (23.1%) compared to those without symptoms (5.6%), although not statistically significant (p = 0.118). Of the total 22,616 cases performed among participating centres during the study period, only 0.19% had COVID-19 at the time of surgery. Fewer procedures were performed during the study period compared to the same period in 2019 (44,486 cases).

Conclusion: In this Canadian cohort study, postoperative 30-day mortality in COVID-19 patients undergoing surgery was high (15.9%). Although few surgeries were performed on COVID-19 patients, the pandemic impact on surgical activity volume was important.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT04458337.