Nogal Piotr1*, Brust Katarzyna1, Podlawska Paulina1, Zakrzewski Bartosz1, Peplińska Małgorzata1, Rosiak Oskar2 and Wierzbicka Małgorzata1
1Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
2Department of Otology, Laryngology and Laryngological Oncology, Medical University of Łódź, Poland
Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic changed the profile of patients admitted to the ENT
emergency department due to the acute dyspnea.
Objective: To determine if the organizational changes (telemedicine appointments, limitation of
inpatient services) and an increase in the number of patients treated with mechanical ventilation
during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the scope of patients admitted as an emergency and
treated in the tertiary-referral otolaryngology department.
Design: The aim of the study is to compare the clinical features of two cohorts of patients: “pre-
COVID-19” (2019/2020) and “COVID-19” (2020/2021), admitted as an emergency for dyspnea in
order to restore the airway.
Setting: The therapeutic activity of the ENT Emergency Department of a University Clinic in two
time periods: September-February 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 were analyzed.
Participants: In the “pre-COVID-19” period, 5,102 planned outpatient visits, 1,260 emergency
visits, and 1,520 operations were performed, and in the “COVID-19”period, 5,270, 1,371, and 1,232,
respectively. 27 and 31 patients were admitted and treated, respectively, for laryngeal dyspnea in
the first and the second period. Patients who developed dyspnea due to HNC (19 and 17 patients)
and LTS (8 and 14 patients) were included in these two “pre-COVID-19” and “COVID-19” cohorts.
Urgent dyspnea was defined as a significant deterioration of respiratory comfort, with inspiratoryexpiratory
dyspnea and a decrease in oxygen saturation below 90%. Laryngoscopy or transnasal
videolaryngoscopy using flexible scopes was performed; the necessary information was taken
from patients’ documentation, family, or post the surgery. Tumor location and extent in oncology
group and dynamic information on laryngeal mobility, grade and level of the stenosis, swallowing
function, tracheal malacia and distal airway in LTS was assessed. Each patient admitted due the
urgent dyspnea was included in the study.
Piotr N, Katarzyna B, Paulina P, Bartosz Z, Małgorzata P, Oskar R, et al. COVID-19 Pandemic Specificity in Emergency ENT Department: Urgent Admissions for Dyspnea in Order to Restore the Airway. World J Surg Surgical Res. 2021; 4: 1322..