A study led by experts University of Birmingham has been awarded the Guinness World Records title for the world’s largest scientific collaboration – involving over 140,000 patients in 116 countries. The record for ‘Most authors on a single peer-reviewed academic paper’ is now held by the Universities of Birmingham and Edinburgh after 15,025 scientists around the globe contributed to major research into the impact of COVID-19 on surgical patients.
Launched in March 2020, the COVIDSurg Collaborative has provided data needed to support changes to surgical delivery in the fastest time frame ever seen by a surgical research group. Research from this huge study group has also explored the timing of surgery after COVID infection, preoperative isolation, and risks of blood clots, all published in the field-leading journal Anaesthesia.
During the first wave of the pandemic, up to 70% of elective surgeries were postponed, resulting in an estimated 28 million procedures being delayed or cancelled. Whilst surgery volumes have started to recover in many countries, ongoing disruption is likely to continue throughout 2021, particularly in the event of countries experiencing further waves of COVID-19. Vaccination is also likely to decrease post-operative pulmonary complications – reducing intensive care use and overall healthcare costs.