ERAS® Society Executive Committee Statement regarding surgery and anaesthesia during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping across the world and affecting all of us gravely. It impacts upon surgical practice substantially by necessitating cancellation or postponement of the majority of elective operations to create capacity for the management of patients in need of treatment for COVID-19. Several countries, surgical societies, national associations and journals have published guidelines on how to manage these patients, many of which can be found with a simple internet search using “COVID-19 Guidelines for surgery”. There are also case series soon to be published showing how units have managed their patients during this crisis. The ERAS® Society chooses not to publish guidelines on this topic but rather point to the fact that for the patients who do undergo elective surgery, it is now more important than ever before to implement ERAS® pathways, given the increased importance to avoid complications, intensive care admission and to have patients in a condition to leave the hospital as soon as possible.

It must also be highlighted that at present there is little or no scientific evidence to base recommendations for the treatment of COVID-19 patients undergoing surgery, but at this point in the development of knowledge it is relying on opinion and use of information from other pathogens in different situations that will shape any future guidelines.

Professor Olle Ljungqvist
Professor Gregg Nelson
Dr Hans De Boer
Professor Nicolas Demartines
Professor Dileep Lobo
Professor Michael Scott
Professor William Fawcett
Ms Angie Balfour