We know patients with bowel diseases, many of whom need surgery, are scared of the effect COVID-19 is having on hospitals and the potential effects on them as individuals needing treatment. Funding from Bowel Research UK enables us to generate desperately needed evidence to plan the safest possible surgery for the next 5 years. This will have a direct impact both across the NHS and the world. Aneel Bhangu
Senior Lecturer in Colorectal Surgery at The University of Birmingham
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a major strain on patients needing care from surgical teams. This has had a huge impact on those with bowel diseases, including cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other gastrointestinal problems.
The effects have been delays in care, and worries about the safety of performing surgery in hospitals affected by COVID-19.
COVID SURG has established a platform of responsive studies to help us understand the role of surgery both during and after COVID-19 outbreaks. We hope these outputs are immediately useful for patients with bowel diseases and needing bowel surgery. We expect these to impact directly on NHS policy and the team are in communication with NHS-England.
Since receiving our funding in April, CovidSurg has already collected data on 52,290 patients across 1,032 hospitals in 88 countries.
This has seen findings published in the Lancet – showing starkly the death rate for patients undergoing surgery when infected with the new coronavirus (18.9%).
They were also published in the British Journal of Surgery, with data suggesting 28 million operations have been cancelled globally.