Creating a safe workplace by universal testing of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients and healthcare workers in the electrophysiology unit having no symptoms of COVID-19: A multicenter experience

Sanghamitra Mohanty, Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, Chintan Trivedi, Bryan MacDonald, Angel Mayedo, Domenico G. della Rocca, Rakesh Gopinathannair, Gerald J. Gallinghouse, Luigi Di Biase, Rodney Horton, Robert Canby, Andrea Natale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: As the coronavirus cases continue to surge, the urgent need for universal testing to identify positive cases for effective containment of this highly contagious pandemic has become the center of attention worldwide. However, in spite of extensive discussions, very few places have even attempted to implement it. We evaluated the efficacy of widespread testing in creating a safe workplace in our healthcare community including staff and patients. Furthermore, we assessed the rate of new infections in patients undergoing electrophysiology (EP) procedure, to see if identification and exclusion of positive cases facilitated establishment of a risk-free operating environment. Methods: Universal testing was conducted in subjects with no symptoms of COVID-19 including patients and their caregivers and staff in our electrophysiology units along with the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) staff (n=1670) Results: Of 1670, 758 (45.4%) were EP patients, and the remaining 912 were caregivers, EMS staff and hospital staff from EP clinic and lab. Viral-RNA test revealed 64 (3.8%) positives in the population. A significant increase in the rate of positives was observed from April to June, 2020 (p=0.02). Procedures of positive cases (n=31) were postponed until they tested negative at retesting on day 14. Staff testing positive (n=33) were retested before going back to work after 2 weeks. Because of suspected exposure, 67 staff were retested and source was traced. No new infections were reported in patients during the hospital stay or within 2-weeks after the procedure. Conclusion: Universal testing to identify positive cases was helpful in creating and maintaining a safe working environment without exposing patients and staff to new infections in the EP unit at the hospital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 17 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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