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World Neurosurg ; 2021 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574951


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic necessitated the use of telemedicine for most medical specialties, including neurosurgery, although before the pandemic, neurosurgeons infrequently used telemedicine for outpatient visits. We conducted a patient-centric evaluation of telemedicine in our endovascular neurosurgery practice, covering a 4-month period early in the pandemic. METHODS: Survey e-mails after telemedicine visits were sent to all patients who underwent an outpatient telemedicine visit between March 11, 2020, and June 22, 2020, at an endovascular neurosurgery clinic affiliated with a tertiary care center. RESULTS: Of 140 patients, 65 (46%) completed the e-mail survey. Of the 65 respondents, 35 (54%) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that even before their telemedicine experience, they thought telemedicine would be a convenient way to receive a neurological consultation. After their telemedicine visit, 47 (72%) agreed or strongly agreed with this statement, and 28 (43%) agreed or strongly agreed that they would prefer telemedicine for future visits. Of the 65 respondents, 61 (94%) rated their telemedicine visit as average or better: 34 (52%) rated it excellent, 12 (18%) rated it above average, and 15 (23%) rated it average. When patients compared their telemedicine visit with a prior in-person clinic visit, only 10 of 44 patients (23%) thought the telemedicine visit was more complicated than an in-person visit, and 21 of 44 (48%) said they would prefer telemedicine for future visits. CONCLUSIONS: Our patients expressed satisfaction with their telemedicine visits, and telemedicine will likely play an important role in future outpatient endovascular neurosurgery consultations.

J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(11): 1039-1044, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742246


BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many centers altered stroke triage protocols for the protection of their providers. However, the effect of workflow changes on stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has not been systematically studied. METHODS: A prospective international study was launched at the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. All included centers participated in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) and Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Group (ENRG). Data was collected during the peak months of the COVID-19 surge at each site. Collected data included patient and disease characteristics. A generalized linear model with logit link function was used to estimate the effect of general anesthesia (GA) on in-hospital mortality and discharge outcome controlling for confounders. RESULTS: 458 patients and 28 centers were included from North America, South America, and Europe. Five centers were in high-COVID burden counties (HCC) in which 9/104 (8.7%) of patients were positive for COVID-19 compared with 4/354 (1.1%) in low-COVID burden counties (LCC) (P<0.001). 241 patients underwent pre-procedure GA. Compared with patients treated awake, GA patients had longer door to reperfusion time (138 vs 100 min, P=<0.001). On multivariate analysis, GA was associated with higher probability of in-hospital mortality (RR 1.871, P=0.029) and lower probability of functional independence at discharge (RR 0.53, P=0.015). CONCLUSION: We observed a low rate of COVID-19 infection among stroke patients undergoing MT in LCC. Overall, more than half of the patients underwent intubation prior to MT, leading to prolonged door to reperfusion time, higher in-hospital mortality, and lower likelihood of functional independence at discharge.

Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anesthesia, General , COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Independent Living , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Reperfusion , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome , Workflow