LONDON, ONT -- As the second wave peak approaches, a new global study is suggesting ‘COVID-19 free’ areas in hospitals is needed for surgical patients.

The study in collaboration with Western University in London, Ont. and the University of Birmingham, shows having a COVID free dedicated area in hospitals could reduce the risk of serious complications for surgery patients and death from lung infections associated with the virus.

“When we say ‘COVID-19 free’ areas, we are talking about creating spaces that have no mixing with COVID patients throughout the entire surgical flow,” says Janet Martin, Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“That includes every stage from pre-admit, to surgery, intensive care and the ward where patients recover.”

Researchers examined data from 9171 patients in 55 countries from the start of the pandemic to mid-April 2020.

They discovered pulmonary complications, perioperative COVID-19, and death after were lower for patients whose hospital treatment took place in ‘COVID-19 free’ areas.

More than 300 million surgeries take place worldwide each year. The study points out the implementation of ‘COVID-19 free’ areas could possibly prevent millions of serious pulmonary complications and deaths.

Link to full published study can be found here.