Impact of COVID-19 on pediatric pulmonology healthcare practice

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Buyuksahin H. N., EMİRALİOĞLU N., Tural D. A., Ozsezen B., SUNMAN B., GÜZELKAŞ İ., ...More

Pediatric Pulmonology, vol.56, no.9, pp.2811-2817, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ppul.25557
  • Journal Name: Pediatric Pulmonology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.2811-2817
  • Keywords: children, COVID-19, flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy, pulmonary function testing
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLCIntroduction: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is typically spread by droplets and has had a remarkable effect on pediatric pulmonology healthcare practice. Here, we aimed to evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical follow-up and hospital visits of patients followed up at a pediatric pulmonology unit at a tertiary care center. Methods: This study was an observational descriptive study performed at a tertiary care center pediatric pulmonology unit between January 2019 and December 2020. We analyzed the outpatient visits, laboratory procedures which including pulmonary function tests (PFTs), diffusion capacity assessment, plethysmography, and lung clearance index (LCI), high-speed video microscopy, gastric aspirate sampling, and Flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy (FFB) during clinical follow-up, and hospitalization numbers of patients with chronic lung diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic and compared them with the previous year before the pandemic started. Results: In 2020, compared with 2019, outpatient visits decreased by 42.2%; from 8324 patients to 4804 patients and other laboratory procedures decreased after the pandemic started; PFTs including spirometry by 87.2%; from 2990 to 380 tests, diffusion capacity assessment from 172 to 55 tests, plethysmography from 172 to 53 and LCI from 70 to 9 tests, also high-speed video microscopy analyses by 64.3% from 300 to 107 patients, and gastric aspirate sampling by 75.5% from 42 to 9 patients. FFB procedures also decreased by 59.1%, from 142 to 58 patients, and only 15 were after the first reported case of COVID-19 in our country, and they were all for urgent indications. None of these patients was positive pretesting for COVID-19 who underwent the FFB. There was no significant decrease in patients' hospitalization due to pulmonary exacerbation in cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, and primary ciliary dyskinesia.