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Effects of COVID-19 on Pediatric Cancer Care: A Multicenter Study of 11 Middle Eastern Countries

HumanInsight Effects of COVID-19 on Pediatric Cancer Care: A Multicenter Study of 11 Middle Eastern Countries

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2022 Oct 12. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000002564. Online ahead of print.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, major challenges are facing pediatric cancer centers regarding access to cancer centers, continuity of the anti-cancer therapy, hospital admission, and infection protection precautions. Pediatric oncologists actively treating children with cancer from 29 cancer centers at 11 countries were asked to answer a survey from May 2020 to August 2020 either directly or through the internet. COVID-19 pandemic affected the access to pediatric cancer care in the form of difficulty in reaching the center in 22 (75.9%) centers and affection of patients' flow in 21 (72.4%) centers. Health care professionals (HCP) were infected with COVID-19 in 20 (69%) surveyed centers. Eighteen centers (62%) modified the treatment guidelines. Care of follow-up patients was provided in-hospital in 8(27.6%) centers, through telemedicine in 10 (34.5%) centers, and just delayed in 11 (38%) centers. Pediatric oncologists had different expectations about the future effects of COVID-19 on pediatric cancer care. Seventy-six percent of pediatric oncologists think the COVID-19 pandemic will increase the use of telemedicine. Fifty-five percent of pediatric oncologists think if the COVID-19 pandemic persists, we will need to change chemotherapy protocols to less myelosuppressive ones. Collaborative studies are required to prioritize pediatric cancer management during COVID-19 era.

PMID:36219708 | DOI:10.1097/MPH.0000000000002564

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