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1.
Neurol Sci ; 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2085397

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the incidence and describe clinical characteristics and outcome of GBS in COVID-19 patients (COVID19-GBS) in one of the most hit regions during the first pandemic wave, Lombardia. METHODS: Adult patients admitted to 20 Neurological Units between 1/3-30/4/2020 with COVID19-GBS were included as part of a multi-center study organized by the Italian society of Hospital Neuroscience (SNO). RESULTS: Thirty-eight COVID19-GBS patients had a mean age of 60.7 years and male frequency of 86.8%. CSF albuminocytological dissociation was detected in 71.4%, and PCR for SARS-CoV-2 was negative in 19 tested patients. Based on neurophysiology, 81.8% of patients had a diagnosis of AIDP, 12.1% of AMSAN, and 6.1% of AMAN. The course was favorable in 76.3% of patients, stable in 10.5%, while 13.2% worsened, of which 3 died. The estimated occurrence rate in Lombardia ranges from 0.5 to 0.05 GBS cases per 1000 COVID-19 infections depending on whether you consider positive cases or estimated seropositive cases. When we compared GBS cases with the pre-pandemic period, we found a reduction of cases from 165 to 135 cases in the 2-month study period in Lombardia. CONCLUSIONS: We detected an increased incidence of GBS in COVID-19 patients which can reflect a higher risk of GBS in COVID-19 patients and a reduction of GBS events during the pandemic period possibly due to a lower spread of more common respiratory infectious diseases determined by an increased use of preventive measures.

2.
Minerva Cardiol Angiol ; 70(3): 303-309, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1841790

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Lombardy region, in Northern Italy, suffered a major outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the end of February 2020. The health system was rapidly overwhelmed by the pandemic. It became evident that patients suffering from time-sensitive medical emergencies like stroke, cerebral hemorrhage, trauma and acute myocardial infarction required timely, effective and safe pathways to be treated. The problem was addressed by a regional decree that created a hub-and-spoke system for time-sensitive medical emergencies. METHODS: We report the re-organizational changes adopted at a hub hospital (despite having already destined to COVID-19 patients most resources), and the number of emergent procedures for medical emergencies on the first 30-day of activity. These data were compared with the hospital activity in the same period of the previous year. RESULTS: Organizational changes were implemented in few hours. Dedicated pathways for non-COVID-19 patients affected by a medical emergency were set up in the emergency department, in the labs and in the operating theater. Ten intensive beds were implemented from a high-dependency unit; two operating rooms were reserved 24 h/day to neurosurgical or trauma emergencies. The number of emergent procedures was not different from that of the previous year, no admission refusal, no treatment delay and no viral transmission to the treated patients were recorded. No viral transmission to health care workers was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Re-organization of a hospital in order to adopt a hub-and-spoke model resulted feasible and allowed to face acute coronary syndrome and other time-sensitive medical emergencies timely and safely.


Subject(s)
Acute Coronary Syndrome , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Neurosurg Sci ; 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789848

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, a multitude of surveys have analyzed the impact virus spreading on the everyday medical practice, including neurosurgery. However, none have examined the perceptions of neurosurgeons towards the pandemic, their life changes, and the strategies they implemented to be able to deal with their patients in such a difficult time. METHODS: From April 2021 to May 2021 a modified Delphi method was used to construct, pilot, and refine the questionnaire focused on the evolution of global neurosurgical practice during the pandemic. This survey was distributed among 1000 neurosurgeons; the responses were then collected and critically analyzed. RESULTS: Outpatient department practices changed with a rapid rise in teleservices. 63.9% of respondents reported that they have changed their OT practices to emergency cases with occasional elective cases. 40.0% of respondents and 47.9% of their family members reported to have suffered from COVID-19. 56.2% of the respondents reported having felt depressed in the last 1 year. 40.9% of respondents reported having faced financial difficulties. 80.6% of the respondents found online webinars to be a good source of learning. 47.8% of respondents tried to improve their neurosurgical knowledge while 31.6% spent the extra time in research activities. CONLCUSIONS: Progressive increase in operative waiting lists, preferential use of telemedicine, reduction in tendency to complete stoppage of physical clinic services and drop in the use of PPE kits were evident. Respondents' age had an impact on how the clinical services and operative practices have evolved. Financial concerns overshadow mental health.

4.
Acta Neurochir (Wien) ; 164(1): 141-150, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482221

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lombardy was the most affected Italian region by the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and underwent urgent reorganization for the management of emergencies, including subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm (aSAH). The aim of the study was to define demographics, clinical, and therapeutic features of aSAH during the COVID-19 outbreak and compare these with a historical cohort. METHODS: In this observational multicenter cohort study, patients aged 18 years or older, who were diagnosed with aSAH at the participating centers in Lombardy from March 9 to May 10, 2020, were included (COVID-19 group). In order to minimize bias related to possible SAH seasonality, the control group was composed of patients diagnosed with aSAH from March 9 to May 10 of the three previous years, 2017-2018-2019 (pre-pandemic group). Twenty-three demographic, clinical, and therapeutic features were collected. Statistical analysis was performed. RESULTS: Seventy-two patients during the COVID-19 period and 179 in the control group were enrolled at 14 centers. Only 4 patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The "diagnostic delay" was significantly increased (+ 68%) in the COVID-19 group vs. pre-pandemic (1.06 vs. 0.63 days, respectively, p-value = 0.030), while "therapeutic delay" did not differ significantly between the two periods (0.89 vs. 0.74 days, p-value = 0.183). Patients with poor outcome (GOS at discharge from 1 to 3) were higher during the COVID-19 period (54.2%) compared to pre-pandemic (40.2%, p = 0.044). In logistic regression analysis, in which outcome was the dichotomized Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), five variables showed p-values < 0.05: age at admission, WFNS grade, treatment (none), days in ICU, and ischemia. CONCLUSIONS: We documented a significantly increased "diagnostic delay" for subarachnoid hemorrhages during the first COVID-19 outbreak in Lombardy. However, despite the dramatic situation that the healthcare system was experiencing, the Lombardy regional reorganization model, which allowed centralization of neurosurgical emergencies such as SAHs, avoided a "therapeutic delay" and led to results overall comparable to the control period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Treatment Outcome
6.
Neurol Sci ; 42(2): 607-612, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051353

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the infectious agent responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Respiratory and gastrointestinal manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 are well described, less defined is the clinical neurological spectrum of COVID-19. We reported a case of COVID-19 patient with acute monophasic Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and a literature review on the SARS-CoV-2 and GBS etiological correlation. CASE DESCRIPTION: A 68 years-old man presented to the emergency department with symptoms of acute progressive symmetric ascending flaccid tetraparesis. Oropharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 tested positive. Neurological examination showed bifacial nerve palsy and distal muscular weakness of lower limbs. The cerebrospinal fluid assessment showed an albuminocytologic dissociation. Electrophysiological studies showed delayed distal latencies and absent F waves in early course. A diagnosis of Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) subtype of GBS was then made. CONCLUSIONS: Neurological manifestations of COVID-19 are still under study. The case we described of GBS in COVID-19 patient adds to those already reported in the literature, in support of SARS-CoV-2 triggers GBS. COVID-19 associated neurological clinic should probably be seen not as a corollary of classic respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, but as SARS-CoV-2-related standalone clinical entities. To date, it is essential for all Specialists, clinicians and surgeons, to direct attention towards the study of this virus, to better clarify the spectrum of its neurological manifestations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/etiology , Quadriplegia/etiology , Acute Disease , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/diagnosis , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/physiopathology , Humans , Male , Quadriplegia/diagnosis , Quadriplegia/physiopathology
7.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E19, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954536

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many countries into lockdown and has led to the postponement of nonurgent neurosurgical procedures. Although stress has been investigated during this pandemic, there are no reports on anxiety in neurosurgical patients undergoing nonurgent surgical procedures. METHODS: Neurosurgical patients admitted to hospitals in eastern Lombardy for nonurgent surgery after the lockdown prospectively completed a pre- and postoperative structured questionnaire. Recorded data included demographics, pathology, time on surgical waiting list, anxiety related to COVID-19, primary pathology and surgery, safety perception during hospital admission before and after surgery, and surgical outcomes. Anxiety was measured with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Descriptive statistics were computed on the different variables and data were stratified according to pathology (oncological vs nononcological). Three different models were used to investigate which variables had the greatest impact on anxiety, oncological patients, and safety perception, respectively. Because the variables (Xs) were of a different nature (qualitative and quantitative), mostly asymmetrical, and related to outcome (Y) by nonlinear relationships, a machine learning approach composed of three steps (1, random forest growing; 2, relative variable importance measure; and 3, partial dependence plots) was chosen. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-three patients from 10 different hospitals were included in the study. None of the patients developed COVID-19 after surgery. State and trait anxiety were reported by 30.3% and 18.9% of patients, respectively. Higher values of state anxiety were documented in oncological compared to nononcological patients (46.7% vs 25%; p = 0.055). Anxiety was strongly associated with worry about primary pathology, surgery, disease worsening, and with stress during waiting time, as expected. Worry about positivity to SARS-CoV-2, however, was the strongest factor associated with anxiety, even though none of the patients were infected. Neuro-oncological disease was associated with state anxiety and with worry about surgery and COVID-19. Increased bed distance and availability of hand sanitizer were associated with a feeling of safety. CONCLUSIONS: These data underline the importance of psychological support, especially for neuro-oncological patients, during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Neurosurgical Procedures/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
9.
Head Neck ; 42(7): 1503-1506, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-263453

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has rapidly transformed health care delivery around the globe. Because of the heavy impact of COVID-19 spread, cancer treatments have necessarily been de-prioritized, thus exposing patients to increased risk of morbidity and mortality due to delayed care. In this scenario, cancer specialists need to assess critical oncology patients case by case to carefully balance risk vs benefit in treating tumors and preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we report early insights into how the management of patients with sinonasal and anterior skull base cancer might be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We provide recommendations for preoperative tests, indications for immediate care vs possible delayed treatment, and warnings relating to dural resection and intracranial dissection, given the potential neurotropism of SARS-CoV2 and practical suggestions for managing cancer care in a period of limited resources. We also postulate some thoughts on the promising role of telemedicine in multidisciplinary case discussions and posttreatment surveillance.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Nose Neoplasms , Pandemics/prevention & control , Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Skull Base Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Infection Control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Nose Neoplasms/diagnosis , Nose Neoplasms/therapy , Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms/diagnosis , Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms/therapy , Patient Care Team , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Skull Base Neoplasms/diagnosis , Skull Base Neoplasms/therapy , Telecommunications , Telemedicine , Time-to-Treatment
12.
Int Forum Allergy Rhinol ; 10(8): 963-967, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-141521

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is highly contagious with devastating impacts for healthcare systems worldwide. Medical staff are at high risk of viral contamination and it is imperative to know what personal protective equipment (PPE) is appropriate for each situation. Furthermore, elective clinics and operations have been reduced in order to mobilize manpower to the acute specialties combating the outbreak; appropriate differentiation between patients who require immediate care and those who can receive telephone consultation or whose treatment might viably be postponed is therefore crucial. Italy was 1 of the earliest and hardest-hit European countries and therefore the Italian Skull Base Society board has promulgated specific recommendations based on consensus best practices and the literature, where available. Only urgent surgical operations are recommended and all patients should be tested at least twice (on days 4 and 2 prior to surgery). For positive patients, procedures should be postponed until after swab test negativization. If the procedure is vital to the survival of the patient, filtering facepiece 3 (FFP3) and/or powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) devices, goggles, full-face visor, double gloves, water-resistant gowns, and protective caps are mandatory. For negative patients, use of at least an FFP2 mask is recommended. In all cases the use of drills, which promote the aerosolization of potentially infected mucous particles, should be avoided. Given the potential neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2, dura handling should be minimized. It is only through widely-agreed protocols and teamwork that we will be able to deal with the evolving and complex implications of this new pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Infection Control , Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Skull Base/surgery , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Italy , Nasal Surgical Procedures/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
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