The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed hospital activities, including nuclear medicine (NM) practice. This review aimed to determine and describe the impact of COVID-19 on NM in Europe and critically discuss actions and strategies applied to face the pandemic. A literature search for relevant articles was performed on PubMed, covering COVID-19 studies published up until January 21, 2021. The findings were summarized according to general and specific activities within the NM departments. The pandemic strongly challenged NM departments: a reduction in the workforce has been experienced in almost every center in Europe due to personnel diagnosed with COVID-19 and other reasons related to the coronavirus. NM departments introduced procedures to limit COVID-19 transmission, including environmental and personal hygiene, social distancing, rescheduling of non-high-priority procedures, the correct use of personal protective equipment, and prompt identification of suspect COVID-19 cases. A proportion of the departments experienced a delay in radiopharmaceuticals supply or technical assistance during the pandemic. Furthermore, the pandemic resulted in a significant reduction of diagnostic and therapeutic NM procedures, as well as a reduced level of care for patients affected by diseases other than COVID-19, such as cancer or acute cardiovascular disease. Telemedicine services have been set up to maintain medical assistance for patients. COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped human work resources, patient's diagnostic and therapeutic management, operative models, radiopharmaceutical supplies, teaching, training and research of NM departments. Limits of availability of resources emerged. Nonetheless, we have to provide continuity in care, especially for fragile patients, maintaining infection control measures. Challenges that have been faced should reshape our vision and get us prepared for the future.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Nuclear Medicine in Europe.

Telo S;Fanti S.
2022

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed hospital activities, including nuclear medicine (NM) practice. This review aimed to determine and describe the impact of COVID-19 on NM in Europe and critically discuss actions and strategies applied to face the pandemic. A literature search for relevant articles was performed on PubMed, covering COVID-19 studies published up until January 21, 2021. The findings were summarized according to general and specific activities within the NM departments. The pandemic strongly challenged NM departments: a reduction in the workforce has been experienced in almost every center in Europe due to personnel diagnosed with COVID-19 and other reasons related to the coronavirus. NM departments introduced procedures to limit COVID-19 transmission, including environmental and personal hygiene, social distancing, rescheduling of non-high-priority procedures, the correct use of personal protective equipment, and prompt identification of suspect COVID-19 cases. A proportion of the departments experienced a delay in radiopharmaceuticals supply or technical assistance during the pandemic. Furthermore, the pandemic resulted in a significant reduction of diagnostic and therapeutic NM procedures, as well as a reduced level of care for patients affected by diseases other than COVID-19, such as cancer or acute cardiovascular disease. Telemedicine services have been set up to maintain medical assistance for patients. COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped human work resources, patient's diagnostic and therapeutic management, operative models, radiopharmaceutical supplies, teaching, training and research of NM departments. Limits of availability of resources emerged. Nonetheless, we have to provide continuity in care, especially for fragile patients, maintaining infection control measures. Challenges that have been faced should reshape our vision and get us prepared for the future.
2022
Kirienko M, Telo S, Hustinx R, Bomanji JB, Chiti A, Fanti S.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/852948
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