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J Craniofac Surg ; 33(2): 409-412, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1746165


ABSTRACT: Smile Train, the largest global cleft nonprofit organization, employs a model of establishing partnerships with treatment centers and medical professionals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Having a presence in over 90 countries throughout its history, the organization provides support for cleft lip and palate repair as well as comprehensive cleft care (CCC) for patients with clefts. With the goal of reducing disparities in access to quality surgical, anesthesia, and medical care, Smile Train strengthens partners with training, education, equipment, and patient support grants. Furthermore, safety and quality protocols have been put in place as guidelines for each partner center, and partnerships with other nongovernmental agencies were created to increase safety in the operating rooms. The founder of Smile Train desired to apply technology wherever possible to build sustainability within the treatment centers and surgeons supporting their own community. Smile Train's model, aimed at increased sustainability, is supplemented by technological advancements to assist in the safety and quality of cleft care services provided in LMIC treatment centers. Examples include centralized online data record keeping for every patient, virtual simulations and training, and mobile applications to enhance care. Recently, Smile Train's focus is expanding CCC with nutrition, oral health, speech, and nursing care programs to improve functional and psychosocial outcomes for patients following their procedure. Despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Smile Train continues to provide safe, efficacious, and CCC alongside their partners in LMICs further investing tremendous efforts towards the livelihood of children with clefts globally.

COVID-19 , Cleft Lip , Cleft Palate , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cleft Lip/surgery , Cleft Palate/surgery , Humans , Pandemics , Speech
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 74(8): 1931-1971, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252521


Maintaining an excellent level of service in a network Cleft Lip and Palate service in the UK has been an added challenge for both clinicians and patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe the changes to our service, and report a high level of patient satisfaction with the changes. Some of the enforced changes may last beyond the duration of this pandemic.

COVID-19 , Cleft Lip/surgery , Cleft Palate/surgery , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures , Humans
Cleft Palate Craniofac J ; 58(11): 1341-1347, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112414


BACKGROUND: At the declaration of the global pandemic on March 11, 2020, many hospitals and institutions developed a tiered framework for the stratification and prioritization of elective surgery. Cleft lip and palate repair was classified as low acuity, and nasoalveolar molding (NAM) clinics were closed. Anticipating the consequences of delayed cleft care and the additional burden this would cause families, we reassessed our risk-stratification and perioperative algorithms. We hypothesized we could safely optimize nasolabial repair without burdening our care systems and without increasing COVID-19-related morbidity/mortality. METHODS: Our multidisciplinary cleft team reevaluated patient selection to maximize surgical impact. Perioperative protocols were adjusted, and COVID-19 preoperative testing was utilized before nasolabial repair and prior to suture removal under anesthesia. RESULTS: Early in the pandemic, unilateral cleft repair was prioritized and successfully completed on 9 patients. There were no complications related to COVID-19. Nasoalveolar molding clinic was reopened after total patient volume was significantly decreased. CONCLUSIONS: We offer an approach for surgical management of nasolabial clefts during a global pandemic. Although guidelines have suggested postponing all cleft care, we found that at our dedicated pediatric hospital with low burden of COVID-19 and adequate resources, we could follow a strategy to safely resume cleft care while decreasing burden on our patients' families and care delivery systems.

COVID-19 , Cleft Lip , Cleft Palate , Child , Cleft Lip/epidemiology , Cleft Lip/surgery , Cleft Palate/epidemiology , Cleft Palate/surgery , Humans , Nose , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2