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Evaluation of community-based CT abdomen for acute abdominal pain during COVID-19

Resource type
Authors/contributors
Title
Evaluation of community-based CT abdomen for acute abdominal pain during COVID-19
Abstract
AIM: The purpose of this study was to determine the utility of community-based imaging to reduce use of inpatient surgical resources and enforce social distancing at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHOD: A prospective evaluation of community-based CT for patients presenting to Christchurch general practitioners with acute abdominal pain from April to November 2020. Eligible patients were discussed with the on-call general surgical team, and then referred for CT abdomen rather than hospital assessment. The positivity rate of CT scans, the 30-day all-cause hospital admission rate, and the proportion of patients where community scanning altered management setting and the number of incidental findings, were all assessed. RESULTS: Of 131 included patients, 67 (51%) patients had a positive CT scan. Thirty-nine (30%) patients were admitted to hospital within 30 days, 34 (87%) of whom had a positive CT scan and were admitted under a surgical specialty. Ninety-two (70%) patients did not require hospital admission for their acute abdominal pain, thirty-three (35%) of whom had a positive CT scan. There were three deaths within 30 days of the community CT, and the setting of the community CT did not contribute to the death of any of the cases. Forty patients (30%) had incidental findings on CT, 10 (25%) of which were significant and were referred for further investigation. CONCLUSION: Community based abdominal CT scanning is a feasible option in the management of acute abdominal pain. While trialed in response to the initial nationwide COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand, there may be utility for acute community-based CT scanning in regular practice.
Publication
The New Zealand Medical Journal
Volume
135
Issue
1557
Pages
10-18
Date
2022-07-01
Journal Abbr
N Z Med J
Language
eng
ISSN
1175-8716
Library Catalog
PubMed
Extra
PMID: 35772108
Citation
Arnold, L., Whiteley, L., Hudson, B., McCombie, A. M., Coulter, G., Hegarty, J., & Eglinton, T. (2022). Evaluation of community-based CT abdomen for acute abdominal pain during COVID-19. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1557), 10–18. https://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal-articles/evaluation-of-community-based-ct-abdomen-for-acute-abdominal-pain-during-covid-19-open-access?mc_cid=25a840cfd0&mc_eid=4d2f9d1115
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