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J Card Surg ; 36(9): 3040-3051, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266339


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.

COVID-19 , Surgeons , Adult , Decontamination , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
Ann Thorac Surg ; 110(5): e449-e450, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-506081


The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated that operating room procedures be modified to ensure the safety of staff and patients. Specifically, procedures that have the potential to create aerosolization must be reassessed, given the risk of viral transmission via aerosolization. We present the use of a nonsealed endoscopic vessel harvesting approach during coronary surgery that does not necessitate the use of CO2 insufflation and utilizes suction through an ultra low particulate filter, thus mitigating the risk of possible viral transmission via aerosolization or surgical smoke production. This approach is technically feasible and can minimize the risk of viral transmission during endoscopic vessel harvesting.

Betacoronavirus , Coronary Artery Bypass/methods , Coronary Artery Disease/surgery , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Endoscopy/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Saphenous Vein/transplantation , Tissue and Organ Harvesting/methods , Aged , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronary Artery Disease/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2