Surgical management of head and neck tumours during the SARS-CoV (COVID-19) pandemic
The health emergency caused by the SARS-CoV (Covid-19) pandemic calls for the utmost commitment on the part of every member of the healthcare team and involves a reorganization of the health system to meet exceptional care needs efficiently and effectively. In Lombardy – one of the Italian regions most affected by this pandemic – many public and private hospitals have been wholly reconverted to ensure the treatment of Covid-19 patients. At the same time, other “Covid-free” hospitals have been identified and designated to treat all other diseases and conditions safely. As a consequence of this reorganization, specific cancer centres, including the European Institute of Oncology, have become regional reference “hubs” for the treatment of cancer patients. A series of organisational and clinical problems has therefore to be addressed as the number of patients to be evaluated and treated increases, while at the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the “hub” remains as“COVID-19-free” as possible over time. These dedicated centres are employed in the treatment of patients referring from different areas, with a significant increase in workload, where, alongside the complexity of oncological disease, there is the overlapping problem of coronavirus infection.