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1.
World Neurosurg ; 165: e242-e250, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960086

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Changes to neurosurgical practices during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have not been thoroughly analyzed. We report the effects of operative restrictions imposed under variable local COVID-19 infection rates and health care policies using a retrospective multicenter cohort study and highlight shifts in operative volumes and subspecialty practice. METHODS: Seven academic neurosurgery departments' neurosurgical case logs were collected; procedures in April 2020 (COVID-19 surge) and April 2019 (historical control) were analyzed overall and by 6 subspecialties. Patient acuity, surgical scheduling policies, and local surge levels were assessed. RESULTS: Operative volume during the COVID-19 surge decreased 58.5% from the previous year (602 vs. 1449, P = 0.001). COVID-19 infection rates within departments' counties correlated with decreased operative volume (r = 0.695, P = 0.04) and increased patient categorical acuity (P = 0.001). Spine procedure volume decreased by 63.9% (220 vs. 609, P = 0.002), for a significantly smaller proportion of overall practice during the COVID-19 surge (36.5%) versus the control period (42.0%) (P = 0.02). Vascular volume decreased by 39.5% (72 vs. 119, P = 0.01) but increased as a percentage of caseload (8.2% in 2019 vs. 12.0% in 2020, P = 0.04). Neuro-oncology procedure volume decreased by 45.5% (174 vs. 318, P = 0.04) but maintained a consistent proportion of all neurosurgeries (28.9% in 2020 vs. 21.9% in 2019, P = 0.09). Functional neurosurgery volume, which declined by 81.4% (41 vs. 220, P = 0.008), represented only 6.8% of cases during the pandemic versus 15.2% in 2019 (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Operative restrictions during the COVID-19 surge led to distinct shifts in neurosurgical practice, and local infective burden played a significant role in operative volume and patient acuity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , Cohort Studies , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pandemics
2.
Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) ; 21(3): 131-136, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed deficiencies in the adequacy of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery is thought to be among the highest-risk aerosol-generating procedures for surgeons and operating room personnel. OBJECTIVE: To validate the efficacy and clinical feasibility of a novel surgical device. METHODS: A low-cost, modifiable, and easily producible negative pressure, face-mounted antechamber was developed utilizing 3D printing and silicone molding. Efficacy was evaluated using an optical particle sizer to quantify aerosols generated during both cadaver and intraoperative human use with high-speed drilling. RESULTS: Particle counts in the cadaver showed that drilling led to a 2.49-fold increase in particles 0.3 to 5 µm (P = .001) and that the chamber was effective at reducing particles to levels not significantly different than baseline. In humans, drilling led to a 37-fold increase in particles 0.3 to 5 µm (P < .001), and the chamber was effective at reducing particles to a level not significantly different than baseline. Use of the antechamber in 6 complex cases did not interfere with the ability to perform surgery. Patients did not report any facial discomfort after surgery related to antechamber use. CONCLUSION: The use of a negative pressure facial antechamber can effectively reduce aerosolization from endoscopic drilling without disturbing the flow of the operation. The antechamber, in conjunction with appropriate PPE, will be useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during flu season and any future viral outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2 , Skull Base/surgery
3.
World Neurosurg ; 148: 251-255, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144985

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted neurosurgery in unforeseeable ways. Neurosurgical patient care, research, and education have undergone extraordinary modifications as medicine and mankind have adapted to overcome the challenges posed by this pandemic. Some changes will disappear as the situation slowly recovers to a prepandemic status quo. Others will remain: This pandemic has sparked some long-overdue systemic transformations across all levels of medicine, including in neurosurgery, that will be beneficial in the future. In this paper, we present some of the challenges faced across different levels of neurosurgical clinical care, research, and education, the changes that followed, and how some of these modifications have transformed into opportunities for improvement and growth in the future.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/methods , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Neurosurgery/methods , Critical Care , Education, Distance/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures , Hospital Bed Capacity , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgical Procedures , Operating Rooms , Organizational Innovation , Remote Consultation/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods
5.
Neurosurgery ; 87(4): 854-856, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-641027

ABSTRACT

Even though neurosurgeons exercise these enormous and versatile skills, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the fabrics of the global neurosurgical family, jeopardizing human lives, and forcing the entire world to be locked down. We stand on the shoulders of the giants and will not forget their examples and their teachings. We will work to the best of our ability to honor their memory. Professor Harvey Cushing said: "When to take great risks; when to withdraw in the face of unexpected difficulties; whether to force an attempted enucleation of a pathologically favorable tumor to its completion with the prospect of an operative fatality, or to abandon the procedure short of completeness with the certainty that after months or years even greater risks may have to be faced at a subsequent session-all these require surgical judgment which is a matter of long experience." It is up to us, therefore, to keep on the noble path that we have decided to undertake, to accumulate the surgical experience that these icons have shown us, the fruit of sacrifice and obstinacy. Our tribute goes to them; we will always remember their excellent work and their brilliant careers that will continue to enlighten all of us.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/history , Neurosurgery/history , Pandemics/history , Pneumonia, Viral/history , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , History, 21st Century , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , SARS-CoV-2
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