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J Card Surg ; 36(9): 3040-3051, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266339


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health care and cardiac surgery. We report cardiac surgeons' concerns, perceptions, and responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A detailed survey was sent to recruit participating adult cardiac surgery centers in North America. Data regarding cardiac surgeons' perceptions and changes in practice were analyzed. RESULTS: Our study comprises 67 institutions with diverse geographic distribution across North America. Nurses were most likely to be redeployed (88%), followed by advanced care practitioners (69%), trainees (28%), and surgeons (25%). Examining surgeon concerns in regard to COVID-19, they were most worried with exposing their family to COVID-19 (81%), followed by contracting COVID-19 (68%), running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) (28%), and hospital resources (28%). In terms of PPE conservation strategies among users of N95 respirators, nearly half were recycling via decontamination with ultraviolet light (49%), followed by sterilization with heat (13%) and at home or with other modalities (13%). Reuse of N95 respirators for 1 day (22%), 1 week (21%) or 1 month (6%) was reported. There were differences in adoption of methods to conserve N95 respirators based on institutional pandemic phase and COVID-19 burden, with higher COVID-19 burden institutions more likely to resort to PPE conservation strategies. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates the impact of COVID-19 on North American cardiac surgeons. Our study should stimulate further discussions to identify optimal solutions to improve workforce preparedness for subsequent surges, as well as facilitate the navigation of future healthcare crises.

COVID-19 , Surgeons , Adult , Decontamination , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
Ann Thorac Surg ; 111(3): 747-752, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095845


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: While the United States (US) population at large is rapidly diversifying, cardiothoracic surgery is among the least diverse specialties in terms of racial and gender diversity. Lack of diversity is detrimental to patient care, physician well-being, and the relevance of cardiothoracic surgery on our nation's health. Recent events, including the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests, have further accentuated the gross inequities that underrepresented minorities face in our country and have reignited conversations on how to address bias and systemic racism within our institutions. The field of cardiothoracic surgery has a responsibility to adopt a culture of diversity and inclusion. This kind of systemic change is daunting and overwhelming. With bias ubiquitously entangled with everyday experiences, it can be difficult to know where to start. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforce on Diversity and Inclusion presents this approach for addressing diversity and inclusion in cardiothoracic surgery. This framework was adapted from a model developed by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and includes information and recommendations generated from our literature review on diversity and inclusion. A MEDLINE search was conducted using keywords "diversity," "inclusion," and "surgery," and approaches to diversity and inclusion were drawn from publications in medicine as well as non-healthcare fields. Recommendations were generated and approved by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Executive Committee. We present an overarching framework that conceptualizes diversity and inclusion efforts in a series of concentric spheres of influence, from the global environment to the cardiothoracic community, institution, and the individual surgeon. This framework organizes the approach to diversity and inclusion, grouping interventions by level while maintaining a broader perspective of how each sphere is interconnected. We include the following key recommendations within the spheres of influence: It is important to note that each of the spheres of influence is interconnected. Interventions to improve diversity must be coordinated across spheres for concerted change. Altogether, this multilevel framework (global environment, cardiothoracic community, institution, and individual) offers an organized approach for cardiothoracic surgery to assess, improve, and sustain progress in diversity and inclusion.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Specialties, Surgical , Thoracic Surgical Procedures , Comorbidity , Humans , Minority Groups , United States/epidemiology , Workforce