The Incidence Of Covid-19 Patients In Oral And Maxillofacial Surgery

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Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery


Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic has resulted in widespread changes to healthcare practices across the United States. The purpose of this study is to examine the incidence of COVID-19 patients in the oral-maxillofacial surgery setting in order to help guide perioperative protocols during the pandemic. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, predictor variables (presence of preoperative symptoms on presentation, patient age, patient gender, patient race, hospital location, and presence of statewide stay-at-home orders) were examined with outcome variables (SARS-CoV-2 test results) over 10 months between March 2020 and December 2020 for patients undergoing surgical procedures in the operating room by the following Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery Departments: - Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (Baton Rouge, LA) - University of Illinois at Chicago (Chicago, IL) - University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (Houston, TX) Data analysis included Fisher exact tests to compare categorical variables across COVID test groups and Wilcoxon rank sum tests to compare continuous covariates. Two-sample tests of proportions were used to compare observed COVID-19 positivity rates to other study results. Results: Out of 684 patients in 3 institutions, 17 patients (2.5%, 95% CI = 1.5 to 4.0%) tested positive for COVID-19 over a 10 month interval (March 1, 2020- December 31, 2020). The majority of patients that tested positive were asymptomatic in the preoperative setting (P-value = .09). They were significantly more likely to be African-American (P-value = .015) and less likely to have a stay-at-home order present at the time of surgery (P-value = .033). Age, gender, and hospital location did not play a statistically significant role. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate a 2.5% incidence of COVID-19 infection in the total population of patients undergoing scheduled oral-maxillofacial surgeries in 3 major healthcare systems across the United States. This data may help inform perioperative protocols and infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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