The COVID-19 pandemic could result in the postponement or cancellation of close to 400,000 surgeries in Canada in 2020, creating a backlog that could take almost a year to be cleared.
The staggering projections are part of a new study, completed in collaboration with a Western University professor, looking at the impact the pandemic has had on surgical procedures worldwide.
“This has never happened before on a global basis in an era where we have the volume of surgery we have today,” Janet Martin, an associate professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, said in a statement.
Most elective surgeries in Canada have been postponed since mid-March due to the pandemic as hospitals shifted resources to deal with an expected surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
According to the modelling study, completed in conjunction with researchers at England’s University of Birmingham, Canada could reach the 400,000 figure, which includes more than 27,000 cancer procedures, if disruptions caused by the pandemic continue for another four weeks.