Global Survey on Pancreatic Surgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic 28 Apr, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (SARS-CoV-2) on March 11, 2020.1 The rapid spread of COVID-19 infections heavily impacts health care systems worldwide, resulting in limitations in both hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. As a result, this pandemic not only affects COVID-19 patients, but strikes the entire health care system including the care for patients with pancreatic cancer and other pancreatic diseases.

Recent large series suggest an increased risk for cancer patients to develop severe complications when infected by COVID- 19, including those who were treated with surgery or chemotherapy in the last month. Pursuing oncological care exposes both health care professionals and vulnerable patients to become infected by COVID-19. However, the inability to receive medical and/or surgical care seems to be an equal threat for cancer patients as well. The highly aggressive biology of pancreatic cancer requires the continuation of oncological care during the COVID-19 pandemic, but an unambiguous strategy is needed to support health care professionals in clinical decision-making.

Therefore, this international survey study aimed to clarify the role of pancreatic surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic through 21 statements, aiming to optimize safety for patients and clinicians, and safeguard health care.