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2.
Innovations (Phila) ; 16(4): 350-357, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282223

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We report the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on cardiac surgery trainee education in North America. METHODS: A survey was sent to participating academic adult cardiac surgery centers in North America. Data regarding the effect of COVID-19 on cardiac surgery training were analyzed. RESULTS: Responses were received from 53 academic institutions with diverse geographic distribution. Cardiac surgery trainee re-deployment to alternative clinical duties peaked at the height of the pandemic. We stratified institutions based on high (n = 20) and low burden (n = 33) of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The majority of institutions have converted didactics (high burden 90% vs low burden 73%) and interviews for jobs/fellowships (high burden 75% vs low burden 73%) from in-person to virtual. Institutions were mixed in preference for administration of the licensing examination, with the most common preference for examinations to be held remotely on normal timeline (high burden 45% vs low burden 30%) or in person with more than 3-month delay (high burden 20% vs low burden 33%). Despite the challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic on trainee clinical experience, re-deployment, and decreased operative volume, institutions expected their trainees to graduate on schedule (high burden 95% vs low burden 91%). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that actions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruptions in cardiac surgery training with transition of didactics and interviews virtually and re-deployment to alternative duties. Despite this, institutions remain optimistic that their trainees will graduate on schedule.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/education , Education, Medical, Graduate/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Internship and Residency/statistics & numerical data , North America/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
J Card Surg ; 36(9): 3040-3051, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health care and cardiac surgery. We report cardiac surgeons' concerns, perceptions, and responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A detailed survey was sent to recruit participating adult cardiac surgery centers in North America. Data regarding cardiac surgeons' perceptions and changes in practice were analyzed. RESULTS: Our study comprises 67 institutions with diverse geographic distribution across North America. Nurses were most likely to be redeployed (88%), followed by advanced care practitioners (69%), trainees (28%), and surgeons (25%). Examining surgeon concerns in regard to COVID-19, they were most worried with exposing their family to COVID-19 (81%), followed by contracting COVID-19 (68%), running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) (28%), and hospital resources (28%). In terms of PPE conservation strategies among users of N95 respirators, nearly half were recycling via decontamination with ultraviolet light (49%), followed by sterilization with heat (13%) and at home or with other modalities (13%). Reuse of N95 respirators for 1 day (22%), 1 week (21%) or 1 month (6%) was reported. There were differences in adoption of methods to conserve N95 respirators based on institutional pandemic phase and COVID-19 burden, with higher COVID-19 burden institutions more likely to resort to PPE conservation strategies. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates the impact of COVID-19 on North American cardiac surgeons. Our study should stimulate further discussions to identify optimal solutions to improve workforce preparedness for subsequent surges, as well as facilitate the navigation of future healthcare crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Surgeons , Adult , Decontamination , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg ; 162(3): 893-903.e4, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-704188

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in an increase in hospital resource utilization and the need to defer nonurgent cardiac surgery procedures. The present study aims to report the regional variations of North American adult cardiac surgical case volume and case mix through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A survey was sent to recruit participating adult cardiac surgery centers in North America. Data in regard to changes in institutional and regional cardiac surgical case volume and mix were analyzed. RESULTS: Our study comprises 67 adult cardiac surgery institutions with diverse geographic distribution across North America, representing annualized case volumes of 60,452 in 2019. Nonurgent surgery was stopped during the month of March 2020 in the majority of centers (96%), resulting in a decline to 45% of baseline with significant regional variation. Hospitals with a high burden of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 demonstrated similar trends of decline in total volume as centers in low burden areas. As a proportion of total surgical volume, there was a relative increase of coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (high +7.2% vs low +4.2%, P = .550), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (high +2.5% vs low 0.4%, P = .328), and heart transplantation (high +2.7% vs low 0.4%, P = .090), and decline in valvular cases (high -7.6% vs low -2.6%, P = .195). CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates the impact of COVID-19 on North American cardiac surgery institutions as well as helps associate region and COVID-19 burden with the impact on cardiac surgery volumes and case mix.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/trends , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Regional Health Planning/trends , Surgeons/trends , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Humans , Needs Assessment/trends , North America , Time Factors
6.
Ann Thorac Surg ; 110(6): 2020-2025, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-165410

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically reduced adult cardiac surgery case volumes as institutions and surgeons curtail nonurgent operations. There will be a progressive increase in deferred cases during the pandemic that will require completion within a limited time frame once restrictions ease. We investigated the impact of various levels of increased postpandemic hospital operating capacity on the time to clear the backlog of deferred cases. Methods: We collected data from 4 cardiac surgery programs across 2 health systems. We recorded case rates at baseline and during the COVID-19 pandemic and created a mathematical model to quantify the cumulative surgical backlog based on the projected pandemic duration. We then used the model to predict the time required to clear the backlog depending on the level of increased operating capacity. Results: Cardiac surgery volumes fell to 54% of baseline after restrictions were implemented. Assuming a service restoration date of either June 1 or July 1, we calculated the need to perform 216% or 263% of monthly baseline volume, respectively, to clear the backlog in 1 month. The actual duration required to clear the backlog highly depends on hospital capacity in the post-COVID period, and ranges from 1 to 8 months, depending on when services are restored and the degree of increased capacity. Conclusions: Cardiac surgical operating capacity during the COVID-19 recovery period will have a dramatic impact on the time to clear the deferred cases backlog. Inadequate operating capacity may cause substantial delays and increase morbidity and mortality. If only prepandemic capacity is available, the backlog will never clear.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surge Capacity/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Models, Statistical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , SARS-CoV-2
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