COVID-19 Infection Control Changing Radiology Clinical Practices: Adapting to the New Normal

Suphalak Khamruang Marshall

Healthcare systems are at risk of collapse from the COVID-19 pandemic and the global mortality rate of healthcare staff may never be known. Common symptoms are cough, fever, muscle aches, headache and shortness of breath. Comorbidities increase mortality rates, such as age with 8 out of 10 deaths in USA being adults +65 years old. Others are both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, COVID-19 damages the kidney and liver, obesity is linked to comorbidities, and cardiovascular disease, males are 2.4 times more at risk of dying than females, COVID-19 is linked to prothrombotic disseminated intravascular coagulation and venous thromboembolism and black and minority ethnic groups (BAME) are 4-fold at increased risk. In addition, a study evaluating initial computer tomography (CT) findings with mortality in older male patients (71.1 ± 8.5 years old) with severity and clinical outcomes, established CT score was higher in those patients that died. CT has become a key component for the detection of COVID-19, as virus causes lower respiratory tract infection. Resulting in radiology departments workloads increasing and an increased risk of crosscontamination and so robust standard operating procedures (SOPs) are needed. Risk assessment can assist in reducing mortalities, infection rates and minimalize virus transmission. Also, the implementation of technology to reduce face-to-face contacts will have a far reaching influence in the future. This paper aims to review, evaluate and summarize the risks and approaches necessary to develop radiology departments working practices.