Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
The-Impact-of-COVID-19-on-Surgical-Activity.pdf (194.42 kB)

The impact of COVID-19 on surgical activity

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-08-31, 15:01 authored by Pat Rohan, F Slattery, GJ Nason, R Chelyn, S Khan, I Ivanowski, I Soric, K Schmidt, Ken MealyKen Mealy


This study aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 on surgical activity in a Model 3 Hospital. 


A retrospective, observational study assessing data collected over a 3-month period (February to April) in 2019 and 2020. 


There was an overall reduction in surgical activity between 2019 and 2020. This impact was felt most acutely in the month of April where elective theatre and endoscopy procedures fell from 131 to 9 (93%) and 399 to 102 (74%) respectively. The number of emergency department admissions reduced from 534 to 408 (24%) and the number requiring surgical intervention fell from 166 to 122 (27%). Attendance at surgical outpatients fell from 1,211 to 677 (44%) between the 2019 and 2020. In April, attendance reduced from 456 to 52 (86%). 


This study has quantified the reduction in surgical department activity in our Model 3 Hospital. This reduction in scheduled and non-scheduled care could be extrapolated nationally to inform service planning, which will become increasingly challenged unless action to address the service deficit is taken soon.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Rohan P. et al. The impact of COVID-19 on surgical activity. Ir Med J. 2020;113(10):202

Publication Date

November/December 2020


  • Surgical Affairs


Irish Medical Association


  • Published Version (Version of Record)