BACKGROUND: To describe the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency general surgery operative volumes during governmental shutdowns secondary to the pandemic and characterize differences in disease severity, morbidity, and mortality during this time compared to previous years .
METHODS: This retrospective cohort study compares patients who underwent emergency general surgery operations at a tertiary hospital from March 1st to May 31st of 2020 to 2019 . Average emergent cases per day were analyzed, comparing identical date ranges between 2020 (pandemic group) and 2019 (control group). Secondary analysis was performed analyzing disease severity, morbidity, and mortality .
RESULTS: From March 1st to May 31st , 2020 , 2.5 emergency general surgery operations were performed on average daily compared to 3.0 operations on average daily in 2019, a significant decrease (P = .03). No significant difference was found in presenting disease severity, morbidity, or mortality between the pandemic and control groups .
DISCUSSION: This study demonstrates a decrease of 65% in emergency general surgery operations during governmental restrictions secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic . This decrease in operations was not associated with worse disease severity, morbidity, or mortality.