The COVID Stones Collaborative: How has the Management of Ureteric Stones Changed During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic? Rationale and Study Protocol.
Georgiades F., Byrne MHV., Lovegrove CE., Klatte T., Saeb-Parsy K., Howles S., Stewart GD., Turney B., Wiseman O.
Background and objectives The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a significant impact on healthcare delivery. As a result, management of patients with ureteric stones has likely been affected. We report our study protocol for the investigation of ureteric stone management during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Material and methods The COVID Stones study is a multicenter national cohort study of the management and outcomes of patients with ureteric stones before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. The study will consist of three data collection periods, pre-pandemic (“pre-COVID”), pandemic (“COVID”), and post-pandemic (“post-COVID”). This will allow quantification of what “normal” was, how this has changed, and to capture any persisting changes in management. The primary outcome evaluating the success rate of the initial treatment decision will be assessed following a 6-month follow-up from the time of first presentation and will be performed for each recruited patient from each of the three data collection periods. This will allow comparison between both management and outcomes before, during, and after the pandemic. Conclusions We anticipate that this study will lead to an increased understanding of the impact of the outcomes of emergency management of ureteric stones following changes in clinical practice due to the COVID-19 pandemic health provision restrictions.