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1.
World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 2021 Apr 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201521

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate medical student and attending surgeon experiences with a novel interactive virtual Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) medical student elective during the COVID-19 pandemic. STUDY DESIGN: A virtual OHNS elective was created, with three components: (1) interactive virtual operating room (OR) experience using live-stream video-conferencing, (2) telehealth clinic, (3) virtual didactics. SETTING: OHNS Department at the University of Pennsylvania (May 2020 to June 2020). METHODS: Six medical students from the University of Pennsylvania; five attending otolaryngologists. Two surveys were designed and distributed to participating medical students and attending surgeons. Surveys included 5-point Likert scale items, with 1 indicating "not at all" and 5 indicating "very much so". RESULTS: Response rate was 100% for both surveys. Students on average rated the educational value of the telehealth experience as 4.2 ± 1.2, and the virtual OR experience as 4.0 ± 0.6. Most students (n = 5, 83%) indicated that they had enough exposure to faculty they met on this rotation to ask for a letter of recommendation (LOR) for residency if needed, while attending surgeons had an average response of 3.0 ± 1.0 when asked how comfortable they would feel writing a LOR for a student they met through the rotation. A majority of students (n = 4, 67%) felt they connected enough with faculty during the rotation to ask for mentorship. Half the students (n = 5, 50%) indicated that the rotation allowed them to evaluate the department's culture either "extremely well" or "somewhat well". CONCLUSIONS: Overall, participating students described this innovative virtual surgical rotation as an educationally and professionally valuable experience. With the continued suspension of visiting student rotations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this virtual model may have continued relevance to medical education.

2.
World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 2021 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093245

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Smell and taste loss are highly prevalent symptoms in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), although few studies have employed objective measures to quantify these symptoms, especially dysgeusia. Reports of unrecognized anosmia in COVID-19 patients suggests that self-reported measures are insufficient for capturing patients with chemosensory dysfunction. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to quantify the impact of recent COVID-19 infection on chemosensory function and demonstrate the use of at-home objective smell and taste testing in an at-risk population of healthcare workers. METHODS: Two hundred and fifty healthcare workers were screened for possible loss of smell and taste using online surveys. Self-administered smell and taste tests were mailed to respondents meeting criteria for elevated risk of infection, and one-month follow-up surveys were completed. RESULTS: Among subjects with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, 73% reported symptoms of olfactory and/or gustatory dysfunction. Self-reported smell and taste loss were both strong predictors of COVID-19 positivity. Subjects with evidence of recent SARS-CoV-2 infection (<45 days) had significantly lower olfactory scores but equivalent gustatory scores compared to other subjects. There was a time-dependent increase in smell scores but not in taste scores among subjects with prior infection and chemosensory symptoms. The overall infection rate was 4.4%, with 2.5% reported by PCR swab. CONCLUSION: Healthcare workers with recent SARS-CoV-2 infection had reduced olfaction and normal gustation on self-administered objective testing compared to those without infection. Rates of infection and chemosensory symptoms in our cohort of healthcare workers reflect those of the general public.

3.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 162(6): 816-817, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913950

ABSTRACT

The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the management of head and neck cancer must be addressed. Immediate measures to reduce transmission rates and protect patients and providers take priority and necessitate some delays in care, particularly for patients with mild symptoms or less aggressive cancers. However, strict guidelines have yet to be developed, and many unintentional delays in care are to be expected based on the magnitude of the looming public health crisis. The medical complexity of head and neck cancer management may lead to prolonged delays that worsen treatment outcomes. Therefore, those caring for patients with head and neck cancer must take action to reduce these negative impacts as the country rallies to overcome the challenges posed by this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Head and Neck Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Disease Management , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Female , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/immunology , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Male , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment , United States , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data
4.
J Surg Educ ; 78(1): 346-350, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-623724

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: During the coronavirus 2019 pandemic, medical student involvement in direct patient care has been severely limited. Rotations mandatory not only for core curricula but also for informing decisions regarding specialty choice have been postponed during a critical window in the application cycle. Existing virtual rotations are largely observational or lack patient-facing components. SETTING: A virtual Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery rotation at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was implemented for medical students, comprising interactive live-streamed surgeries, outpatient telehealth visits, and virtual small group didactics. RESULTS: Medical students enrolled in the virtual surgical rotation were able to engage with attending surgeons and operating room staff while remotely viewing surgical procedures captured with first-person audiovisual technology. Students participated in several different aspects of care delivery in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, similar to their typical responsibilities of an in-person rotation. CONCLUSIONS: The authors will continue to develop the virtual surgical education methodology to further disseminate an interactive video-based medical student elective to other procedural specialties and institutions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods , Otolaryngology/education , Telemedicine , Videoconferencing , Curriculum , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Head Neck ; 42(7): 1507-1515, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614117

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus has altered the health care environment for the management of head and neck cancers. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide direction during the pandemic for rational Head and Neck Cancer management in order to achieve a medically and ethically appropriate balance of risks and benefits. METHODS: Creation of consensus document. RESULTS: The process yielded a consensus statement among a wide range of practitioners involved in the management of patients with head and neck cancer in a multihospital tertiary care health system. CONCLUSIONS: These guidelines support an ethical approach for the management of head and neck cancers during the COVID-19 epidemic consistent with both the local standard of care as well as the head and neck oncological literature.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Head and Neck Neoplasms/therapy , Infection Control/standards , Medical Oncology/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Ambulatory Care/standards , COVID-19 , Combined Modality Therapy , Continuity of Patient Care/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Head and Neck Neoplasms/diagnosis , Humans , Multi-Institutional Systems , Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures/standards , Palliative Care/standards , Patient Safety , Pennsylvania , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminal Care/standards , Tertiary Care Centers
6.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 163(5): 934-937, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611164

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on otolaryngology practice is nowhere more evident than in acute airway management. Considerations of preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, conserving personal protective equipment, and prioritizing care delivery based on acuity have dictated clinical decision making in the acute phase of the pandemic. With transition to a more chronic state of pandemic, heightened vigilance is necessary to recognize how deferral of care in patients with tenuous airways and COVID-19 infection may lead to acute airway compromise. Furthermore, it is critical to respect the continuing importance of flexible laryngoscopy in diagnosis. Safely managing airways during the pandemic requires thoughtful multidisciplinary planning. Teams should consider trade-offs among aerosol-generating procedures involving direct laryngoscopy, supraglottic airway use, fiberoptic intubation, and tracheostomy. We share clinical cases that illustrate enduring principles of acute airway management. As algorithms evolve, time-honored approaches for diagnosis and management of acute airway pathology remain essential in ensuring patient safety.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/administration & dosage , Airway Management/methods , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Head Neck ; 42(7): 1448-1453, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-155352

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has raised controversies regarding safe and effective care of patients with head and neck cancer. It is unknown how much the pandemic has changed surgeon practice. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to head and neck surgeons assessing opinions related to treatment and concerns for the safety of patients, self, family, and staff. RESULTS: A total of 88 head and neck surgeons responded during the study period. Surgeons continued to recommend primary surgical treatment for oral cavity cancers. Respondents were more likely to consider nonsurgical therapy for patients with early glottic cancers and HPV-mediated oropharynx cancer. Surgeons were least likely to be concerned for their own health and safety and had the greatest concern for their resident trainees. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights differences in the willingness of head and neck surgeons to delay surgery or alter plans during times when hospital resources are scarce and risk is high.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Head and Neck Neoplasms/surgery , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surgical Oncology/organization & administration , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/pathology , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Occupational Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Risk Management , Surgeons/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , United States
8.
Head Neck ; 42(6): 1268-1272, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-116903

ABSTRACT

AIM: The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has put health care workers at risk when exposed to aerosolized viral particles during upper airway mucosal surgery. The objective of this review was to discuss topical preparations that could be utilized preoperatively to help to decrease viral load and potentially reduce the risks of viral transmission. METHODS: A PubMed/MEDLINE database review of articles was performed querying topical preparations with virucidal activity against coronaviruses. RESULTS: Povidone-iodine (PVP-I) solutions ranging from 0.23% to 7% have been found to demonstrate highly effective virucidal activity against a broad range of viruses including several coronaviruses responsible for recent epidemics including SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. CONCLUSIONS: While specific evidence regarding SARS-CoV-2 is lacking, PVP-I-based preparations have been successfully demonstrated to reduce viral loads of coronaviruses. They are relatively safe to use in the upper airway and may reduce risk of SARS-CoV-2 aerosolization during upper airway mucosal surgery.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents, Local/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Otolaryngology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Administration, Topical , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Humans , Mucous Membrane/surgery , SARS-CoV-2
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