Lessons after the COVID-19 outbreak in a pediatric transplant and hemato-oncology center embedded within a COVID-19 hospital in Italy

22 Apr, 2020

Italy is the second exposed country worldwide, after China, and Lombardia is the most affected region in Italy, with more than half of the national cases, with 13% of whom being healthcare professionals. The Clinica Pediatrica Universit√† degli Studi di Milano Bicocca is a general pediatric and hematology oncology and transplant center embedded within the designated COVID-19 general Hospital San Gerardo in Monza, located in Lombardia, Italy. Preventive and control measures specifically undertaken to cope with the emergency within hemato-oncology, transplant, and outpatient unit in the pediatric department have been described. Preliminary COVID-19 experiences with the first Italian pediatric hemato-oncology patients are reported. The few available data regarding pediatrics and specifically hemato-oncological patients are discussed. 

The purpose of this report is to share pediatric hemato-oncology issues encountered in the first few weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy and to alert healthcare professionals worldwide to be prepared accordingly. The WHO clearly stated that all countries could still change the course of this pandemic infection. As most European countries are few weeks behind Italy, in terms of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, the lesson should be learnt and urgent decisions should be a priority. In case this report could allow somebody not to underestimate the impact of the pandemia, it will have met its aim.

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