Emergency surgical care for patients with COVID-19 and tuberculosis coinfection at multispecialty hospital
The double burden of the novel coronavirus infection and tuberculosis (TB) is a global challenge. The aspects of emergency surgical care for patients with COVID-19 and TB coinfection remain understudied. The aim of this study was to assess treatment outcomes in acute surgical patients with COVID-19 and preexisting TB coinfection. In 2020, our Center delivered surgical care to 465 patients with COVID-19 and preexisting TB; a total of 64 emergency surgeries were performed on 36 (5.6%) patients, of whom 16 had HIV. Thirteen patients (36.1%) were diagnosed with pulmonary TB; 23 patients (63.9%) had disseminated TB. Chest CT scans showed >25% lung involvement in 61.9% of the patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, 25–50% lung involvement in 30.6% of the patients, and 50–75% lung involvement in 5.6% of the patients. By performing abdominal CT, we were able to detect abdominal TB complications, including perforated tuberculous ulcers of the intestine, intestinal obstruction and tuberculous peritonitis, as well as tuberculous spondylitis complicated by psoas abscess. Of all surgical interventions, 28.2% were abdominal, 23.2% were thoracic, 15.6% were surgeries for soft tissue infection, and 32.8% were other types of surgery. Postoperative mortality was 22.2%. We conclude that COVID-19 did not contribute significantly to postoperative mortality among acute surgical patients with TB.