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1.
Scientific Reports ; 12(1):14631, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016827

ABSTRACT

Reflecting the first wave COVID-19 pandemic in Central Europe (i.e. March 16th-April 15th, 2020) the neurosurgical community witnessed a general diminution in the incidence of emergency neurosurgical cases, which was impelled by a reduced number of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spine conditions, and chronic subdural hematomas (CSDH). This appeared to be associated with restrictions imposed on mobility within countries but also to possible delayed patient introduction and interdisciplinary medical counseling. In response to one year of COVID-19 experience, also mapping the third wave of COVID-19 in 2021 (i.e. March 16 to April 15, 2021), we aimed to reevaluate the current prevalence and outcomes for emergency non-elective neurosurgical cases in COVID-19-negative patients across Austria and the Czech Republic. The primary analysis was focused on incidence and 30-day mortality in emergency neurosurgical cases compared to four preceding years (2017-2020). A total of 5077 neurosurgical emergency cases were reviewed. The year 2021 compared to the years 2017-2019 was not significantly related to any increased odds of 30 day mortality in Austria or in the Czech Republic. Recently, there was a significant propensity toward increased incidence rates of emergency non-elective neurosurgical cases during the third COVID-19 pandemic wave in Austria, driven by their lower incidence during the first COVID-19 wave in 2020. Selected neurosurgical conditions commonly associated with traumatic etiologies including TBI, and CSDH roughly reverted to similar incidence rates from the previous non-COVID-19 years. Further resisting the major deleterious effects of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, it is edifying to notice that the neurosurgical community's demeanor to the recent third pandemic culmination keeps the very high standards of non-elective neurosurgical care alongside with low periprocedural morbidity. This also reflects the current state of health care quality in the Czech Republic and Austria.

2.
Gastroenterology ; 162(7):S-1280, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1967447

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Solid organ transplant recipients have 2-5 times increased mortality after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection as compared to general population. These patients also have lower protection after vaccination against COVID-19. Therefore, the risk of breakthrough infection and hospitalization are also significantly higher in this patient population. Studies on efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in post liver transplant (LT) patients are limited. We aimed to investigate the rate of mortality, hospitalization, and breakthrough infection and assess possible risk factors in COVID-19 infection mortality post LT. Methods: A retrospective chart review study. All post liver transplant patients at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) who were tested positive for respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV- 2) PCR test from Dec. 2020 (when first COVID-19 vaccine was approved in the US for emergency use authorization) until Nov. 2021 were included in this study. Breakthrough infection was defined as COVID-19 infection ≥14 days after full vaccination. Data was analyzed using Prism (GraphPad Software, San Diego, CA) and reported as mean ± SEM. T- test and chi square tests were applied for analyzing the data. Results: Thirty-six patients were identified and 66.1±9.6 months post liver transplantation (LT). Mean age was 61.2±1.6 years-old, male (72.2%) and Caucasian (91.6%). Ten patients (27.7%) expired. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) was present in 70.0% of expired patients as compared to 53.3% of recovered (p=0.0003). Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) was present in 70.0% vs. 25.0% of expired and recovered patients, respectively (p<0.0001). Hypertension (HTN) was present in 90.0% vs. 55.0% of expired and recovered patients, respectively (p<0.0001). No statistically significant difference was observed in weight of expired vs. recovered patients (50% vs. 65% obesity;p=0.4). Only 9 patients were vaccinated. Breakthrough infection rate was 25% and 2/9 (22.2%) died vs. 29.6% of non-vaccinated patients (p=0.4). COVID-19 infection occurred 4.9±0.86 months after vaccination. Hospitalization (44.4% vs. 55.5%) and ICU admission (22.2% vs. 37.0%) was not statistically different among vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients. Conclusion: T2DM and CKD were significantly higher among COVID-19 infected patients who expired, which are similar risk factors in patients who have not had a liver transplant. However, obesity was not significantly correlated with mortality as it was shown before in non-immunocompromised population. Although COVID-19 vaccine is effective in post LT patients, larger studies are warranted to evaluate its efficacy in this population. Our study also highlights that the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines decreases in 4-6 months after full vaccination, which warrants evaluating the efficacy of booster dose(s) in post LT patients

3.
Emerging Science Journal ; 6(Special Issue COVID-19 Emerging Research):151-164, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1965032

ABSTRACT

The paper deals with two topics: Participatory Budgeting (PB) and mayoral impact on its success. Its theoretical background is rooted in the interrelation of the discourse of PB and characteristics of mayors as city leaders. The paper analyzes articles revealing personal, social and political characteristics of mayors and their impact on civic governance. The scope of collected characteristics was researched with a view on how they impact succession and the resilience of PB. The idea behind this analysis was not only to reveal mayoral characteristics and their impact on PB in general, but to test them against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of an external crisis. PB practice in Lithuanian municipalities was researched. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with mayors or their subordinates and helped to reveal the mayors’ role and impact on PB resiliency. Relevant statistical data was collected and analyzed in order to obtain the specific characteristics. The results proved the impact of mayors’ social and personal backgrounds on PB resiliency, but during challenging times or even crises, political affiliation, interrelation with the council or administrative and political skills are supportive factors. The paper suggests that mayors cannot ensure the persistence of PB alone when finances are scarce during times of crisis. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee ESJ, Italy.

4.
Baltic Region ; 13(1):70-88, 2021.
Article in Russian | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1239120

ABSTRACT

This article analyses the response of Lithuanian local authorities to the first wave of COVID-19 with a special focus on the economic support measures they took. The main goal of this in-depth study is to compare the economic response measures included in the action plans of Riga and Tallinn, two large Lithuanian municipal administrations, as well as to analyse the narrative developed in the two cities. The methodology of this research is based on the review of literature, the analysis of action plans, and a case study. The Vilnius and Klaipeda city municipalities adopted action plans to support residents and businesses. Although there are many measures the plans have in common, they differ in the context and scope of application. Municipalities are willing to grant exemptions from various fees and taxes. They have used innovative measures: Vilnius allowed the opening of outdoor cafes, the practice, which was observed by global media. According to the research findings, the actions of municipal authorities can be successful, as municipalities are closer to the residents and can respond to their needs and those of entrepreneurs more quickly and flexibly. The approval of COVID-19 management action plans by municipalities has contributed to the narrative of recovery and hope.

5.
Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1132728

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The market for goods and services is a continually changing environment influenced by many internal and external factors. The majority of economies in the World were deeply hit by the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) in the first half of 2020. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of the role of a crisis, COVID-19 in this case, in moderating the market environment and its ability to accelerate or slow down ongoing processes. Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey was used to obtain the opinions of 100 customers and 100 local retailers on the digitisation of the shopping process in a medium-sized Czech town. After the first wave of crisis faded away, the respondents reflected on their opinions before, during and after the crisis. The data were processed using linear mixed models respecting repeated measures. Findings: The crisis seems to have shifted the interest of both groups towards e-commerce but it did not change the disproportion in opinions between them. The interest of customers was significantly higher, even after the crisis. Research limitations/implications: The credibility of the results is limited mainly by the one-time gathering of the data after the crisis. However, the results indicate a persistent challenge to which small retailers are exposed. Originality/value: The originality of the results comes from the specific situation brought about by the COVID-19 crisis and the structure of respondents, enabling us to catch an immediate shift of opinions caused by the crisis and to compare the changes in both groups of respondents. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

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