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Seite 26: Influence of COVID-19 confinement measures on appendectomies in Germany – a claims data analysis of 9797 patients

Bibl. Angaben: Maneck, Matthias; Günster, Christian; Meyer, Hans-Joachim; Heidecke, Claus-Dieter; Rolle, Udo (2021): Influence of COVID-19 confinement measures on appendectomies in Germany-a claims data analysis of 9797 patients. In: Langenbeck’s archives of surgery 406 (2), S. 385–391. DOI: 10.1007/s00423-020-02041-4.

Purpose: COVID-19 pandemic had multiple influences on the social, industrial, and medical situation in all affected countries. Measures of obligatory medical confinement were suspensions of scheduled non-emergent surgical procedures and outpatients’ clinics as well as overall access restrictions to hospitals and medical practices. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess if the obligatory confinement (lockdown) had an effect on the number of appendectomies (during and after the period of lockdown).

Methods: This retrospective study was based on anonymized nationwide administrative claims data of the German Local General Sickness Fund (AOK). Patients admitted for diseases of the appendix (ICD-10: K35-K38) or abdominal and pelvic pain (ICD-10: R10) who underwent an appendectomy (OPS: 5-470) were included. The study period included 6 weeks of German lockdown (16 March–26 April 2020) as well as 6 weeks before (03 February–15 March 2020) and after (27 April–07 June 2020). These periods were compared to the respective one in 2018 and 2019.

Results: The overall number of appendectomies was significantly reduced during the lockdown time in 2020 compared to that in 2018 and 2019. This decrease affects only appendectomies due to acute simple (ICD-10: K35.30, K35.8) and non-acute appendicitis (ICD-10: K36-K38, R10). Numbers for appendectomies in acute complex appendicitis remained unchanged. Female patients and in the age group 1–18 years showed the strongest decrease in number of cases.

Conclusion: The lockdown in Germany resulted in a decreased number of appendectomies. This affected mainly appendectomies in simple acute and non-acute appendicitis, but not complicated acute appendicitis. The study gives no evidence that the confinement measures resulted in a deterioration of medical care for appendicitis.