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Can Fam Physician ; 67(12): 908-910, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579151
Neurol Clin Pract ; 11(2): e165-e169, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177732


We describe the University of Toronto Adult Neurology Residency Program's early experiences with and response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, including modifications to the provision of neurologic care while upholding neurology education and safety. All academic and many patient-related activities were virtualized. This maintained physical distancing while creating a city-wide videoconference-based teaching curriculum, expanding the learning opportunities to trainees at all academic sites. Furthermore, we propose a novel split-team model to promote resident safety through physical distancing of teams and to establish a capacity to rapidly adapt to redeployment, service needs, and trainee illness. Finally, we developed a unique protected code stroke framework to safeguard staff and trainees during hyperacute stroke assessments in this pandemic. Our shared experiences highlight considerations for contingency planning, maintenance of education, sustainability of team members, and promotion of safe neurologic care. These interventions serve to promote trainee safety, wellness, and resiliency.

Stroke ; 51(8): 2587-2592, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680789


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has in some regions overwhelmed the capacity and staffing needs of healthcare systems, necessitating the provision of resources and staff from different disciplines to aid COVID treatment teams. Stroke centers have multidisciplinary clinical and procedural expertise to support COVID treatment teams. Staff safety and patient safety are essential, as are open lines of communication between stroke center leaders and hospital leadership in a pandemic where policies and procedures can change or evolve rapidly. Support needs to be allocated in a way that allows for the continued operation of a fully capable stroke center, with the ability to adjust if stroke center volume or staff attrition requires.

Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Hospital Departments/organization & administration , Pandemics , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Communication , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Leadership , Occupational Health , Organizational Policy , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
Can J Neurol Sci ; 48(1): 1-2, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646552

COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Can J Neurol Sci ; 47(5): 598-603, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-325627


OBJECTIVE: To outline features of the neurologic examination that can be performed virtually through telemedicine platforms (the virtual neurological examination [VNE]), and provide guidance for rapidly pivoting in-person clinical assessments to virtual visits during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. METHODS: The full neurologic examination is described with attention to components that can be performed virtually. RESULTS: A screening VNE is outlined that can be performed on a wide variety of patients, along with detailed descriptions of virtual examination maneuvers for specific scenarios (cognitive testing, neuromuscular and movement disorder examinations). CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid adoption of virtual medicine will be critical to provide ongoing and timely neurological care. Familiarity and mastery of a VNE will be critical for neurologists, and this article outlines a practical approach to implementation.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Neurologic Examination/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Telemedicine/standards , Video Recording/standards , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Neurologic Examination/methods , Neurologists/standards , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods
Stroke ; 51(6): 1891-1895, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-26794


Background and Purpose- Hyperacute assessment and management of patients with stroke, termed code stroke, is a time-sensitive and high-stakes clinical scenario. In the context of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the ability to deliver timely and efficacious care must be balanced with the risk of infectious exposure to the clinical team. Furthermore, rapid and effective stroke care remains paramount to achieve maximal functional recovery for those needing admission and to triage care appropriately for those who may be presenting with neurological symptoms but have an alternative diagnosis. Methods- Available resources, COVID-19-specific infection prevention and control recommendations, and expert consensus were used to identify clinical screening criteria for patients and provide the required nuanced considerations for the healthcare team, thereby modifying the conventional code stroke processes to achieve a protected designation. Results- A protected code stroke algorithm was developed. Features specific to prenotification and clinical status of the patient were used to define precode screening. These include primary infectious symptoms, clinical, and examination features. A focused framework was then developed with regard to a protected code stroke. We outline the specifics of personal protective equipment use and considerations thereof including aspects of crisis resource management impacting team role designation and human performance factors during a protected code stroke. Conclusions- We introduce the concept of a protected code stroke during a pandemic, as in the case of COVID-19, and provide a framework for key considerations including screening, personal protective equipment, and crisis resource management. These considerations and suggested algorithms can be utilized and adapted for local practice.

Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/therapy , Triage/methods , Algorithms , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/complications