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1.
Stroke ; 53(3): e104-e107, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597370

ABSTRACT

Stroke and COVID-19 are both traumatic and life-altering experiences that are marked by uncertainty, fear, and medical intervention. The devastation that stroke and COVID-19 oppress on an individual and a population is well established, and these traumas are potently magnified in the troughs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, stroke has been shown to be a potential complication of COVID-19 infection, and while there is global controversy regarding this finding, it is undeniable that there are patients across the world presenting with both conditions concurrently. Thus, the topic of isolated stroke and the co-occurrence of stroke and COVID-19 amidst the pandemic both warrant considerable investigation on both a basic science level and a humanistic level. This opinion article advocates for a narrative medicine approach to better explicate the intertwining of stroke and COVID-19. Interviewing patients who presented with both stroke and COVID-19 as well as patients who present with stroke during the pandemic will provide the opportunity to gather and juxtapose individual illness experiences, including encounters with the health care system, relationship with care teams and care takers, recovery, and insights into the future. Creating, analyzing, and comparing such an anthology of illness narratives of the 2 patient populations will offer a unique understanding into the experience of different, yet over-lapping, medical traumas in an unprecedented time. With this deeper appreciation of patient accounts, the health care system can better recognize how to provide for future patients who present specifically with stroke or stroke and COVID-19. However, more broadly, this study can also afford insight into how the health care system can better provide for and support patients who present with complex diagnoses in the context of a complex healthcare system, which most probably will operate under the effects of the pandemic for time to come as well as other, future complicating factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Narrative Medicine , Stroke , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy
2.
World Neurosurg ; 152: e250-e265, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272774

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, medical students training in neurosurgery relied on external subinternships at institutions nationwide for immersive educational experiences and to increase their odds of matching. However, external rotations for the 2020-2021 cycle were suspended given concerns of spreading COVID-19. Our objective was to provide foundational neurosurgical knowledge expected of interns, bootcamp-style instruction in basic procedures, and preinterview networking opportunities for students in an accessible, virtual format. METHODS: The virtual neurosurgery course consisted of 16 biweekly 1-hour seminars over a 2-month period. Participants completed comprehensive precourse and postcourse surveys assessing their backgrounds, confidence in diverse neurosurgical concepts, and opinions of the qualities of the seminars. Responses from students completing both precourse and postcourse surveys were included. RESULTS: An average of 82 students participated live in each weekly lecture (range, 41-150). Thirty-two participants completed both surveys. On a 1-10 scale self-assessing baseline confidence in neurosurgical concepts, participants were most confident in neuroendocrinology (6.79 ± 0.31) and least confident in spine oncology (4.24 ± 0.44), with an average of 5.05 ± 0.32 across all topics. Quality ratings for all seminars were favorable. The mean postcourse confidence was 7.79 ± 0.19, representing an improvement of 3.13 ± 0.38 (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Feedback on seminar quality and improvements in confidence in neurosurgical topics suggest that an interactive virtual course may be an effective means of improving students' foundational neurosurgical knowledge and providing networking opportunities before application cycles. Comparison with in-person rotations when these are reestablished may help define roles for these tools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgery/education , Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19/complications , Curriculum/statistics & numerical data , Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods , Educational Status , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
3.
Stroke ; 52(5): 1682-1690, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117688

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The degree to which the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected systems of care, in particular, those for time-sensitive conditions such as stroke, remains poorly quantified. We sought to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 in the overall screening for acute stroke utilizing a commercial clinical artificial intelligence platform. METHODS: Data were derived from the Viz Platform, an artificial intelligence application designed to optimize the workflow of patients with acute stroke. Neuroimaging data on suspected patients with stroke across 97 hospitals in 20 US states were collected in real time and retrospectively analyzed with the number of patients undergoing imaging screening serving as a surrogate for the amount of stroke care. The main outcome measures were the number of computed tomography (CT) angiography, CT perfusion, large vessel occlusions (defined according to the automated software detection), and severe strokes on CT perfusion (defined as those with hypoperfusion volumes >70 mL) normalized as number of patients per day per hospital. Data from the prepandemic (November 4, 2019 to February 29, 2020) and pandemic (March 1 to May 10, 2020) periods were compared at national and state levels. Correlations were made between the inter-period changes in imaging screening, stroke hospitalizations, and thrombectomy procedures using state-specific sampling. RESULTS: A total of 23 223 patients were included. The incidence of large vessel occlusion on CT angiography and severe strokes on CT perfusion were 11.2% (n=2602) and 14.7% (n=1229/8328), respectively. There were significant declines in the overall number of CT angiographies (-22.8%; 1.39-1.07 patients/day per hospital, P<0.001) and CT perfusion (-26.1%; 0.50-0.37 patients/day per hospital, P<0.001) as well as in the incidence of large vessel occlusion (-17.1%; 0.15-0.13 patients/day per hospital, P<0.001) and severe strokes on CT perfusion (-16.7%; 0.12-0.10 patients/day per hospital, P<0.005). The sampled cohort showed similar declines in the rates of large vessel occlusions versus thrombectomy (18.8% versus 19.5%, P=0.9) and comprehensive stroke center hospitalizations (18.8% versus 11.0%, P=0.4). CONCLUSIONS: A significant decline in stroke imaging screening has occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis underscores the broader application of artificial intelligence neuroimaging platforms for the real-time monitoring of stroke systems of care.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted/methods , Stroke/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , Computed Tomography Angiography , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Perfusion , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/complications , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Workflow
5.
Stroke ; 51(9): e215-e218, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636399

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Young patients with malignant cerebral edema have been shown to benefit from early decompressive hemicraniectomy. The impact of concomitant infection with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and how this should weigh in on the decision for surgery is unclear. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all COVID-19-positive patients admitted to the neuroscience intensive care unit for malignant edema monitoring. Patients with >50% of middle cerebral artery involvement on computed tomography imaging were considered at risk for malignant edema. RESULTS: Seven patients were admitted for monitoring of whom 4 died. Cause of death was related to COVID-19 complications, and these were either seen both very early and several days into the intensive care unit course after the typical window of malignant cerebral swelling. Three cases underwent surgery, and 1 patient died postoperatively from cardiac failure. A good outcome was attained in the other 2 cases. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19-positive patients with large hemispheric stroke can have a good outcome with decompressive hemicraniectomy. A positive test for COVID-19 should not be used in isolation to exclude patients from a potentially lifesaving procedure.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia/complications , Brain Ischemia/surgery , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Decompressive Craniectomy/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/complications , Stroke/surgery , Adult , Brain Edema/complications , Brain Edema/surgery , Brain Ischemia/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Clinical Decision-Making , Critical Care , Decompressive Craniectomy/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic , Neurosurgical Procedures/adverse effects , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Treatment Outcome
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