Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(2):135-137.
COVID-19 outbreak and surgeons’ response at a Cancer Center in the United States
Nishioka Y, Tzeng CW, Tran Cao HS, Vauthey JN
In the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome due to coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), United States (U.S.) also experienced the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we report the current status of Houston, Texas and the response to COVID-19 at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) and in the Department of Surgical Oncology. MDACC has taken the institutional measures in order to prevent its employees and patients from COVID-19. Furthermore, surgeons have also responded aggressively in the outpatient setting, operating room and inpatient care. The predicted peak in Texas is on April 29 and our mitigation measures appear to be effective at the time of writing, however there still remain a lot of unknowns about SARS-CoV-2 and the performance of cancer operations remains an ongoing and delicate issue. In order to minimize the risks to patients, our healthcare system, and our community, MDACC has navigated the countering pressures through honest and open communication with patients, judicious use of alternative treatment strategies, and thoughtful selection of surgical cases.