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Emergency management of the COVID-19 pandemic in a Vascular Surgery Department of a large metropolitan hospital in Milan, Italy. Preparation, Escalation, De-escalation, Normal Activity
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  • Roberto CHIESA,
  • Andrea Kahlberg,
  • Enrico Rinaldi ,
  • Daniele Mascia
Roberto CHIESA
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute
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Andrea Kahlberg
Vita-Salute University, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute
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Enrico Rinaldi
Vita-Salute University, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute
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Daniele Mascia
Vita-Salute University, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute
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Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

01 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
01 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
02 Aug 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned

Abstract

During the first phase of COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, several strategies have been taken to deal with the pandemic outbreak. The Regional Authority of Lombardy remodeled the hospitalization system in order to allocate appropriate resources to treat COVID-19 patients and to identify “Hub/Spoke” hospitals for highly specialized medical activities. The Hubs hospitals were required to guarantee full time evaluation of all patients presenting with cardiovavascular diseases with an independent pathway for patients with suspect or confirmed COVID-19 infection. San Raffaele Hospital was identified as Hub for cardiovascular emergencies and the Vascular Surgery Department was remodeled to face this epidemic situation. Surgical treatment was reserved only to symptomatic, urgent or emergent cases. Large areas of the hospital were simultaneously reorganized to assist COVID-19 patients. During this period, 135 patients were referred to San Raffaele Vascular Surgery Department. COVID-19 was diagnosed in 24 patients and, among them, acute limb ischemia was the most common cause of admission. At this time, the COVID-19 trend is in decline in Italy and the local authorities reorganized the health care system in order to return to normal activities avoiding new escalations of COVID-19 cases. Several strategies have been taken to ensure the safety of the San Raffaele hospital, and maintaining potentially suspected patients with COVID-19 separated from other patients. The aim of this paper is to report the remodeling of the Vascular Surgery Department of San Raffaele Hospital as regards the strategies of preparation, escalation, de-escalation and return to normal activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.