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Title: Bacterial infections of the oropharynx and deep neck spaces: an investigation of changes in presentation patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Austin Authors: Toppi, Jason;Hughes, Jed ;Phillips, Damien
Affiliation: Royal Children's Hospital, 50 Flemington St, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia
Ear Nose Throat / Head and Neck Surgery
Issue Date: 2021
Date: 2021-08-24
Publication information: ANZ journal of surgery 2021; 91(12): 2726-2730
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate whether changes in practice during the COVID-19 pandemic altered clinical presentation characteristics among adults with bacterial throat infections. A retrospective cohort study was conducted that included adult patients presenting with bacterial oropharyngeal infections to a tertiary level hospital in Melbourne, Australia. All patients presenting during the first phase of COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne (1st April-1st July in 2020), and those from the same period 12-months prior, were included. There were fewer presentations of bacterial throat infections during the pandemic period compared to the same time one year prior. There was a significantly reduced proportion of patients on oral antibiotics prior to their presentation in 2020, as compared to the same period 12-months earlier (30% vs. 50%, respectively; P<0.01), as well as a significant increase in the length of time patients were symptomatic before presenting to hospital (5 days vs. 4 days, respectively; P<0.01). Despite this, there was no significant increase in the number of representations post discharge from hospital, or the length of hospital admission. The overall number of patients presenting with tonsillitis, pharyngitis, peritonsillar abscess and deep neck space infection were reduced during the pandemic period. Patients experienced symptoms for a longer period of time and fewer were on antimicrobial therapy prior to presentation. This study highlights a shift towards delayed patient presentation and reduced oral antibiotic commencement in cases of oropharyngeal infections as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1111/ans.17178
ORCID: 0000-0002-4363-6960
Journal: ANZ Journal of Surgery
PubMed URL: 34427384
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: COVID
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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