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1.
Br J Neurosurg ; : 1-5, 2021 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091384

ABSTRACT

The 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has affected all of society at different levels. Similarly, COVID-19 has significantly impacted every medical field, including neurosurgery. By exposing scarcities in the healthcare industry and requiring the reallocation of available resources towards the priority setting and away from elective surgeries and outpatient visits, the pandemic posed new, unprecedented challenges to the medical community. Despite the redistribution of resources towards COVID-19 patients and away from elective surgeries, urgent and emergent surgeries for life-threatening conditions needed to be continued. The neurosurgical community, like other specialties not directly involved in the care of COVID-19 patients, initially struggled to balance the needs of COVID-19 patients with those of neurosurgical patients, residents, and researchers. Several articles describing the effect of COVID-19 on neurosurgical practice and training have been published throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This article aims to provide a focused review of the impact COVID-19 has had on neurosurgical practice and training as well as describe neurological manifestations of the disease.

2.
World Neurosurg ; 146: 20-25, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894259

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to fundamental disruptions of health care and its delivery with sweeping implications for patients and physicians of all specialties, including neurosurgery. In an effort to conserve hospital resources, neurosurgical procedures were classified into tiers to determine which procedures have to be performed in a timely fashion and which ones can be temporarily suspended to aid in the hospital's reallocation of resources when equipment is scarce. These guidelines were created quickly based on little existing evidence, and thus were initially variable and required refinement. As the early wave can now be assessed in retrospect, the authors describe the lessons learned and the protocols established based on published global evidence to continue to practice neurosurgery sensibly and minimize disruptions. These operational protocols can be applied in a surge of COVID-19 or another airborne pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Humans , Neurosurgery/standards , Neurosurgery/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
3.
J Neurosci Rural Pract ; 12(1): 24-32, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-780093

ABSTRACT

Objectives The aim of the study is to determine the magnitude of repercussions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on neurosurgical specialty and formulate a management approach. Materials and Methods This combined retrospective and prospective study was done in neurosurgical specialty of IMS-BHU, Varanasi, India, a tertiary care center, between January 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Analysis of impact on neurosurgical emergency and electives was done over before pandemic, during lockdown 1 and 2 and during lockdown 3 and 4 timelines. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on psychology of neurosurgical team (50 members) and on patient party (88) were also evaluated. Virtual learning and webinars as a substitute to residential neurosurgical training were analyzed by a questionnaire given to 13 neurosurgeons of our department. Statistical Analysis Ordinary one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance) and unpaired t -test were used according to data analyzed. p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. GraphPad Prism software was used for this analysis. Results On an average 8.22 admissions per day were done in neurosurgical emergency before pandemic. After lockdown these figures reduced to 3.2 admissions per day during lockdown 1 and 2 and to 5.36 admissions per day during lockdown 3 and 4. There was significant reduction in neurotrauma admission rate during lockdown ( p < 0.0001) at our center. There was 76% reduction in emergency neurosurgical operated cases during pandemic. There was significant reduction in outpatient department (OPD) attendance per day, OPD admissions per day ( p < 0.0001), and total elective surgeries ( p < 0.0001) during lockdown. Of 50 neurosurgical team members (neurosurgeons, nursing, and ground staff) interviewed, 90% of them had the fear of contacting the COVID-19 disease, fear of well-being of family and children, and difficulty in transport. Three out of 13 neurosurgeons (23.1%) agreed on change in practice based on what they learned from virtual teaching and webinars and only two of them (15.4%) accepted improvement of skills based on virtual learning. Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a significant impact on health care systems worldwide. For conserving resources elective surgical procedures should be limited. This pandemic has a negative impact on neurosurgical resident training program and psychology of both neurosurgical unit and patients.

4.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 198: 106237, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-773789

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This observational cross-sectional multicenter study aimed to evaluate the longitudinal impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on neurosurgical practice. METHODS: We included 29 participating neurosurgeons in centers from all geographical regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The study period, which was between March 5, 2020 and May 20, 2020, was divided into three equal periods to determine the longitudinal effect of COVID-19 measures on neurosurgical practice over time. RESULTS: During the 11-week study period, 474 neurosurgical interventions were performed. The median number of neurosurgical procedures per day was 5.5 (interquartile range [IQR]: 3.5-8). The number of cases declined from 72 in the first week and plateaued at the 30's range in subsequent weeks. The most and least number of performed procedures were oncology (129 [27.2 %]) and functional procedures (6 [1.3 %]), respectively. Emergency (Priority 1) cases were more frequent than non-urgent (Priority 4) cases (178 [37.6 %] vs. 74 [15.6 %], respectively). In our series, there were three positive COVID-19 cases. There was a significant among-period difference in the length of hospital stay, which dropped from a median stay of 7 days (IQR: 4-18) to 6 (IQR: 3-13) to 5 days (IQR: 2-8). There was no significant among-period difference with respect to institution type, complications, or mortality. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated that the COVID-19 pandemic decreased the number of procedures performed in neurosurgery practice. The load of emergency neurosurgery procedures did not change throughout the three periods, which reflects the need to designate ample resources to cover emergencies. Notably, with strict screening for COVID -19 infections, neurosurgical procedures could be safely performed during the early pandemic phase. We recommend to restart performing neurosurgical procedures once the pandemic gets stabilized to avoid possible post pandemic health-care system intolerable overload.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Neurosurgery/organization & administration , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia , Young Adult
5.
J Clin Neurosci ; 80: 156-161, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720623

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been a dramatic change in the pattern of patients being seen in hospitals and surgeries performed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this study is to study the change in the volume and spectrum of surgeries performed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-COVID-19 era. METHODS: Details of all patients who were operated under department of neurosurgery at our institute since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in India were collected and compared to the same time period last year. The demographic profile, diagnosis, surgery performed, type of surgery (routine/emergency, cranial/spinal and major/minor) in these two groups were compared. They were further categorized into various categories [neuro-oncology (brain and spine tumors), neuro-trauma (head injury and spinal trauma), congenital cases, degenerative spine, neuro-vascular, CSF diversion procedures, etc.] and compared between the two groups. RESULTS: Our study showed a drastic fall (52.2%) in the number of surgeries performed during the pandemic compared to pre-COVID era. 11.3% of patients operated during COVID-19 pandemic were non-emergent surgeries compared to 57.7% earlier (p = 0.000). There was increase in proportion of minor cases from 28.8% to 41.5% (p = 0.106). The proportion of spinal cases decreased from 27.9% to 11.3% during the COVID-19 pandemic (p = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS: The drastic decrease in the number of surgeries performed will result in large backlog of patients waiting for 'elective' surgery. There is a risk of these patients presenting at a later stage with progressed disease and the best way forward would be to resume work with necessary precautions and universal effective COVID-19 testing.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
6.
World Neurosurg ; 142: e481-e486, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-714998

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Every aspect of the medical field has been heavily affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and neurosurgical services are no exception. Several departments have reported their experiences and protocols to provide insights for others impacted. The goals of this study are to report the load and variety of neurosurgical cases and clinic visits after discontinuing the COVID-19 Battle Plan at an academic tertiary care referral center to provide insights for other departments going through the same transition. METHODS: The clinical data of all patients who underwent a neurosurgical intervention between May 4, 2020, and June 4, 2020 were obtained from a prospectively maintained database. Data of the control group were retrospectively collected from the medical records to compare the types of surgeries/interventions and clinic visits performed by the same neurosurgical service before the COVID-19 pandemic started. RESULTS: One hundred sixty-one patients underwent neurosurgical interventions, and seven-hundred one patients were seen in clinic appointments, in the 4-week period following easing back from our COVID-19 "Battle Plan." Discontinuing the "Battle Plan" resulted in increases in case load to above-average practice after a week but a continued decrease in clinic appointments throughout the 4 weeks compared with average practice. CONCLUSIONS: As policy-shaping crises like pandemics abate, easing back to "typical" practice can be completed effectively by appropriately allocating resources. This can be accomplished by anticipating increases in neurosurgical volume, specifically in the functional/epilepsy and brain tumor subspecialties, as well as continued decreases in neurosurgical clinic volume, specifically in elective spine.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Workload/statistics & numerical data , Academic Medical Centers , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Emergencies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Florida , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
7.
Neurol India ; 68(3): 595-602, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639394

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for medical professionals throughout the world to tackle the rapidly changing scenario. The objective of this survey was to analyze the change in neurosurgical practice in India following the COVID-19 outbreak and assess its impact on practising neurosurgeons. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between May 7th and 23rd, 2020, a validated questionnaire was circulated amongst practising neurosurgeons across the country by social media and e-mails, regarding changes in the patterns of patients seen, adaptations made in their practice, effect on surgeries performed, financial burden, and impact on their personal lives. The responses were kept anonymous and were analyzed for correlations between the changes observed and independent factors such as hospital affiliations, teaching professions, and neurosurgical experience. RESULTS: Our survey showed a drastic fall in the number of neurosurgical patients seen in the outpatient department (OPD) as well as the number of surgeries performed. A drop of 76.25% was seen in OPD patients (P = 0.000) and that of 70.59% in surgeries performed (P = 0.000). There was no uniformity among the neurosurgeons in the number of COVID-19 tests being done before elective/emergency surgery and in the use of protective gear while examining patients. Private practitioners were more affected financially as compared to those in the government sector. The pandemic has affected the research work of 53.23% of all respondents, with those in the teaching profession (70.96%) more affected than those in the non-teaching profession (24.67%). CONCLUSIONS: Evidence-based policies, screening COVID-19 tests with better sensitivity, and better-quality personal protective equipment kits in adequate numbers are required to protect our medical professionals from COVID-19. Mental health issues among neurosurgeons may also be an issue, this being a high risk speciality and should be closely watched for.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgery/statistics & numerical data , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Mass Screening , Neurosurgeons/economics , Neurosurgeons/psychology , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Personnel Staffing and Scheduling , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
World Neurosurg ; 139: e872-e876, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343016

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurosurgical services have been affected by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and several departments have reported their experiences and responses to the COVID-19 crisis in an attempt to provide insights from which other impacted departments can benefit. The goals of this study were to report the load and variety of emergent/urgent neurosurgical cases after implementing the "Battle Plan" at an academic tertiary referral center during the COVID-19 pandemic and to compare these variables with previous practice at the same institution. METHODS: The clinical data of all patients who underwent a neurosurgical intervention between March 23, 2020, and April 20, 2020, were obtained from a prospectively maintained database. Data of the control group were retrospectively collected from the medical records to compare the types of surgeries/interventions performed by the same neurosurgical service before the COVID-19 pandemic started. RESULTS: Over a 4-week period during the COVID-19 pandemic, 91 patients underwent emergent, urgent, and essential neurosurgical interventions. Patient screening at teleclinics identified 11 urgent surgical cases. The implementation of the Battle Plan led to a significant decrease in the caseload, and the variation of cases by subspecialty was evident when compared with a control group comprising 214 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Delivery of optimal care and safe practice and education at an academic neurosurgical department can be well maintained with proper execution of crisis protocols. Teleclinics proved to be efficient in screening patients for urgent neurosurgical conditions, but in-person clinic visits may still be necessary for some cases in the immediate postoperative period.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/trends , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Academic Medical Centers/standards , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Length of Stay/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Young Adult
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