Laura P, José A, Nikki A, Khaled A, Barret JP, Jeffery C, Shobha C, Jack CS, Scott C, Nadia D, Moustafa E, Liao J, Josef H, Briana H, Sunil K, Tetsuro K, Jorge LV, Gaoxing L, Hajime M, Ariel MA, Naiem M, Kiran N, Nawar A, Faustin N, Anthony O, Tom P, Liang Q, Man RS, Ingrid S, Ahmed T, Molina VLP, Shelley W, Mark F
Burns - (-) - [2021-11-17; online 2021-11-17]
Worldwide, different strategies have been chosen to face the COVID-19-patient surge, often affecting access to health care for other patients. This observational study aimed to investigate whether the standard of burn care changed globally during the pandemic, and whether country´s income, geographical location, COVID-19-transmission pattern, and levels of specialization of the burn units affected reallocation of resources and access to burn care. The Burn Care Survey is a questionnaire developed to collect information on the capacity to provide burn care by burn units around the world, before and during the pandemic. The survey was distributed between September and October 2020. McNemar`s test analyzed differences between services provided before and during the pandemic, χ2 or Fisher's exact test differences between groups. Multivariable logistic regression analyzed the independent effect of different factors on keeping the burn units open during the pandemic. The survey was completed by 234 burn units in 43 countries. During the pandemic, presence of burn surgeons did not change (p = 0.06), while that of anesthetists and dedicated nursing staff was reduced (<0.01), and so did the capacity to manage patients in all age groups (p = 0.04). Use of telemedicine was implemented (p < 0.01), collaboration between burn centers was not. Burn units in LMICs and LICs were more likely to be closed, after adjustment for other factors. During the pandemic, most burn units were open, although availability of standard resources diminished worldwide. The use of telemedicine increased, suggesting the implementation of new strategies to manage burns. Low income was independently associated with reduced access to burn care.