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1.
World Neurosurg ; 163: e83-e88, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740272

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine use skyrocketed in March 2020 on implementation of shelter-in-place measures owing to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Within the past year, shelter-in-place measures were lifted and the COVID-19 vaccine was released, resulting in many neurosurgeons returning to in-person outpatient clinics. This study aimed to determine the extent of usage of telemedicine in neurosurgery 1 year into the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of patients who received neurosurgical care at a single institution from February 1 to April 18 of the years 2020 and 2021 was performed. The inclusion criteria were met by 11,592 patients. During the 2 study periods, 1465 patients underwent surgery, 7083 were seen in clinic via an in-person meeting, and 3044 were assessed via telemedicine. RESULTS: At 1 year after the COVID-19 outbreak, telemedicine usage was at 81.3% of the initial volume on implementation of shelter-in-place measures. In-person outpatient visits increased 40.2% from the early pandemic volume. Among the 4 neurosurgery divisions, telemedicine usage remained high in tumor and functional neurosurgery, significantly increased in vascular neurosurgery, and decreased in spine neurosurgery. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine use in neurosurgery clinics continues 1 year after the COVID-19 outbreak. Even after the lifting of shelter-in-place measures, many neurosurgeons still use telemedicine, while the operative volume remains stable. Owing to the limited physical examination that can be performed via current telemedicine platforms, telemedicine use in spine neurosurgery is lower than peak use during the early pandemic, while use has remained high among tumor, vascular, and functional neurosurgery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , Telemedicine , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Neurosurgery/methods , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
2.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev ; 181: 114033, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520626

ABSTRACT

Neurosurgery as one of the most technologically demanding medical fields rapidly adapts the newest developments from multiple scientific disciplines for treating brain tumors. Despite half a century of clinical trials, survival for brain primary tumors such as glioblastoma (GBM), the most common primary brain cancer, or rare ones including primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), is dismal. Cancer therapy and research have currently shifted toward targeted approaches, and personalized therapies. The orchestration of novel and effective blood-brain barrier (BBB) drug delivery approaches, targeting of cancer cells and regulating tumor microenvironment including the immune system are the key themes of this review. As the global pandemic due to SARS-CoV-2 virus continues, neurosurgery and neuro-oncology must wrestle with the issues related to treatment-related immune dysfunction. The selection of chemotherapeutic treatments, even rare cases of hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) that occur among immunocompromised people, and number of vaccinations they have to get are emerging as a new chapter for modern Nano neurosurgery.


Subject(s)
Brain Neoplasms/surgery , COVID-19/surgery , Neurosurgery/methods , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/surgery , Glioblastoma/surgery , Humans , Nanotechnology/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Tumor Microenvironment/physiology
3.
World Neurosurg ; 156: 43-52, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401928

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic exposed existing stressors in the neurosurgical care infrastructure in the United States. We aimed to detail innovative technologic solutions inspired by the pandemic-related restrictions that augmented neurosurgical education and care delivery. METHODS: Several digital health and audiovisual innovations were implemented, including use of remote video technology to facilitate inpatient consultations and outpatient ambulatory virtual visits, optimize regional hospital neurosurgical coverage, expand interdisciplinary patient management conferences (i.e., tumor board), and further enhance the neurosurgical resident education program. Enterprise patient experience data were queried to evaluate patient satisfaction following the switch to virtual visits. RESULTS: Between January 2020 and April 2021, use of virtual visits more than doubled in the Department of Neurosurgery. A survey of 10,772 patients following ambulatory visits showed that virtual visits were equal if not better in providing satisfactory patient care than in-person visits. After switching our interdisciplinary spine tumor board to a virtual meeting, we increased surgeon participation and attendance by 49.29%. Integration of remote audiovisual technology in resident didactics and clinical training improved our ability to provide comprehensive and personalized educational experiences our trainees. CONCLUSIONS: Digital health technology has improved neurosurgical care and comprehensive training at our institution. Investment in the technologic infrastructure required for these remote audiovisual services during the COVID-19 pandemic will facilitate the expansion of neurosurgical care provision for patients across the United States in the future. Governing bodies within organized neurosurgery should advocate for the continued financial and licensing support of these service on a national fiscal and policy level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery/methods , Neurosurgery/trends , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/trends , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , United States
4.
J Neurosurg Pediatr ; 28(4): 483-489, 2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1357502

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Pediatric neurosurgery outpatient consultation is conducted face-to-face (FTF) conventionally. Reasons for not using telemedicine include the perceived difficulty with obtaining a reliable history and an inability to perform a physical examination. However, FTF consultation can cause distress and inconvenience to the child and family. In 2018, the authors' department piloted a clinical nurse specialist-led telephone consultation (TC) for follow-up appointments. This was extended to the routine neurosurgery clinics in 2020. In this study, the authors evaluate 1) the effectiveness of TC, 2) families' experience with TC compared with traditional FTF appointments, and 3) the factors associated with their preferences. METHODS: In this prospective study using a survey methodology, TCs carried out by 2 consultant neurosurgeons and 1 nurse specialist over 8 weeks were evaluated. Based on clinical background, each patient was assigned to a TC or FTF appointment. Clinical and surgical details and home postal code were recorded. At the end of each TC, the clinician recorded whether the child required an FTF appointment within 3 months. In addition, patients/families answered 1) how the current TC compared with FTF consultation, and 2) their preference of TC or FTF for the next consultation. RESULTS: A total of 114 TCs were included. No child required an FTF appointment within 3 months. Overall, compared with an FTF appointment, the TC was the "same/better/much better" for 101 families (89%), and "worse/much worse" for 13 (11%). Two-thirds of families preferred the next appointment to be a TC. Families attending a TC for new appointments preferred the next appointment to be FTF compared with those attending a follow-up TC (6/8 [75%] vs 31/106 [29%], p = 0.006). A high rating of the current TC was associated with a preference for a TC as the next appointment (p < 0.0001). Families preferring TC over FTF lived farther from the hospital (mean 38 vs 27 km) (p = 0.029). CONCLUSIONS: From the clinicians' perspective, TC is adequate in appropriately selected patients as either the primary mode of consultation or as a triage system. From a service users' perspective, the majority of families felt that the appointment was the same/better than traditional FTF appointments. The findings suggested that 1) new patients should be offered FTF appointments; 2) follow-up TCs should be offered to families when possible; and 3) clinicians should develop their skills in conducting TCs. The authors' results have led to a modification of our algorithm in delivering traditional outpatient service and telemedicine with telephone.


Subject(s)
Neurosurgery/methods , Pediatrics/methods , Remote Consultation , Telemedicine/methods , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Patient Satisfaction , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telephone , United Kingdom , Young Adult
6.
World Neurosurg ; 153: e308-e314, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294295

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has become rapidly adopted by the neurosurgical community; however, few studies have examined predictors of telemedicine utilization. Here, we analyze patient variables associated with the acceptance of a telemedicine encounter by a pediatric neurosurgical population during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: All patients seen in a single institution's outpatient pediatric neurosurgery clinic between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic variables were collected for each patient's first completed encounter. Patients participating in telemedicine were compared with those seen in person. Univariate analysis was performed using the Wilcoxon rank sum test for continuous variables and Fischer exact test for categorical variables. A logistic regression multivariable analysis was then performed. RESULTS: We included 682 patients (374 telemedicine and 308 in person). Univariate analysis demonstrated that telemedicine visits were more likely to occur at earlier study dates (P < 0.001) and that patients participating in telemedicine visits were more likely to be established rather than new patients (P < 0.001), White or Caucasian (P < 0.001), not Hispanic or Latino (P < 0.001), English-speaking (P < 0.001), non-Medicare/Medicaid recipients (P < 0.001), have lower no-show rates (P = 0.006), and live farther from the hospital (P = 0.005). Multivariable analysis demonstrated older age (P = 0.031), earlier appointment date (P < 0.01), established patient status (P < 0.001), English-speaking (P < 0.02), and non-Medicare/Medicaid insurance (P < 0.05) were significant predictors of telemedicine utilization. CONCLUSIONS: Significant demographic differences exist among pediatric patients who participated in telemedicine versus those who requested an in-person visit at our institution. Addressing barriers to access will be crucial for promoting health equity in continued utilization of telemedicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/surgery , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Telemedicine , Aged , Ambulatory Care/methods , Child , Humans , Male , Neurosurgery/methods , Patients , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
7.
World Neurosurg ; 150: 153-160, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211169

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Present guidelines on reducing aerosol generation during neurosurgical procedures are futile. The aim of this article was to describe a novel device to contain aerosol within a small localized environment around the operative field-the negative pressure assisted microenvironment surgical hood (NEPA-MESH). METHODS: This device can be assembled using easily available materials-steel wires, image intensifier cover, surgical drape, and three-dimensional-printed self-locking copolyester double hoops. Large-bore pipes in continuity with a high-volume suction apparatus create a constant negative pressure microenvironment around the operative field. The CEM DT-9880 particle counter was used to estimate particle concentration inside the NEPA-MESH during various stages of a neurosurgical procedure as well as outside. The NEPA-MESH was tested in different craniotomies and endoscopic procedures. RESULTS: Mean particle concentration inside the NEPA-MESH and outside during drilling in various procedures was calculated and compared using unpaired t test. Significant reduction in particle concentrations was recorded for particles sized 0.3 µm (t = 17.55, P < 0.0001), 0.5 µm (t = 11.39, P < 0.0001), 1 µm (t = 6.36, P = 0.0002), 2.5 µm (t = 2.04, P = 0.074), 5.0 µm (t = 7.026, P = 0.0008), and 10 µm (t = 4.39, P = 0.0023). CONCLUSIONS: As definitive evidence demonstrating the presence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in aerosol particles is awaited, we describe a cost-effective strategy to reduce aerosol contamination. Significant reduction in particle concentrations was seen outside the NEPA-MESH compared with inside it during various stages of neurosurgical procedures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Neurosurgeons , Neurosurgery/methods , Personal Protective Equipment/economics , Aerosols , Air Pressure , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Craniotomy , Environmental Monitoring , Equipment Design , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/economics , Neuroendoscopy , Neurosurgery/economics , Surgical Drapes
9.
World Neurosurg ; 151: e68-e77, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164602

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Medical subspecialties including neurosurgery have seen a dramatic shift in operative volume in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The goal of this study was to quantify the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on operative volume at 2 academic neurosurgery centers in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA from equivalent periods before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted analyzing neurosurgical case records for 2 tertiary academic centers from March to June 2020 and March to June 2019. The records were reviewed for variables including institution and physician coverage, operative volume by month and year, cases per subspecialty, patient demographics, mortality, and morbidity. RESULTS: Comparison of groups showed a 34% reduction in monthly neurosurgical volume per institution during the pandemic compared with earlier time points, including a 77% decrease during April 2020. There was no change in mortality and morbidity across institutions during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on neurosurgical practice and will likely continue to have long-term effects on patients at a time when global gross domestic products decrease and relative health expenditures increase. Clinicians must anticipate and actively prepare for these impacts in the future.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Internship and Residency/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Time-to-Treatment/trends , Academic Medical Centers/methods , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Length of Stay/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgery/methods , Neurosurgery/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , New Orleans/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies
10.
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
11.
World Neurosurg ; 148: 256-262, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144984

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disrupted lives and indelibly impacted the practice of medicine since emerging as a pandemic in March 2020. For neurosurgery departments throughout the United States, the pandemic has created unique challenges across subspecialties in devising methods of triage, workflow, and operating room safety. Located in New York City, at the early epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, the Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Neurological Surgery was disrupted and challenged in many ways, requiring adaptations in clinical operations, workforce management, research, and education. Through our department's collective experience, we offer a glimpse at how our faculty and administrators overcame obstacles, and transformed in the process, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Education, Distance , Neurosurgery/organization & administration , Neurosurgical Procedures , Teleworking , Academic Medical Centers , Biomedical Research , Faculty, Medical , Health Personnel , Hospital Departments , Humans , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgery/methods , New York City , Operating Rooms , Personnel Management , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage , Webcasts as Topic , Workflow
12.
World Neurosurg ; 150: e645-e656, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142299

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Global use of telemedicine has increased rapidly during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to bridge the gap in existing health care services. Intercontinental trends in neurosurgeons' perception and practices of telemedicine have been sparingly reported. METHODS: We conducted an online anonymized and validated survey using a structured questionnaire to gain insight into neurosurgeons' experience with telemedicine across various continents and rated its usefulness on a 5-point Likert scale. RESULTS: We received 286 responses across 5 continents. There was a trend to support a major paradigm shift favoring teleconsultations during the COVID-19 pandemic in respondents from North America (P = 0.06). Signed prescriptions were e-mailed along with video-based teleconsultations preferentially in Europe and North America. In comparison, audio- or text-based teleconsultations along with unsigned prescriptions were prevalent in Asia and Africa (P = 0.0005). Acceptability and perceived usefulness for telemedicine during the pandemic were similar across the globe, regardless of neurosurgeons' experience (mean satisfaction score 3.72 ± 1.09; P = 0.62). A majority of neurosurgeons from Asia and South America complained of difficulties during teleconsultations owing to lack of appropriate infrastructure, internet connectivity/prescription-related issues, and potential risk of litigation (P = 0.0005). Approximately 46% of neurosurgeons, predominantly from Europe and North America, thought that telemedicine could play a vital role in clinical practice even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides (mean satisfaction score 3.26 ± 1.16; P = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine in neurosurgery is a viable alternative to physical outpatient services during the COVID-19 pandemic and could potentially play a vital role after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery/trends , Pandemics , Remote Consultation/trends , Ambulatory Care , Humans , Internet , Neurosurgeons , Neurosurgery/economics , Neurosurgery/methods , Prescriptions , Remote Consultation/economics , Remote Consultation/methods , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/trends
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 6171, 2021 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1139756

ABSTRACT

The world currently faces the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. Little is known about the effects of a pandemic on non-elective neurosurgical practices, which have continued under modified conditions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This knowledge might be critical for the ongoing second coronavirus wave and potential restrictions on health care. We aimed to determine the incidence and 30-day mortality rate of various non-elective neurosurgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. A retrospective, multi-centre observational cohort study among neurosurgical centres within Austria, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland was performed. Incidence of neurosurgical emergencies and related 30-day mortality rates were determined for a period reflecting the peak pandemic of the first wave in all participating countries (i.e. March 16th-April 15th, 2020), and compared to the same period in prior years (2017, 2018, and 2019). A total of 4,752 emergency neurosurgical cases were reviewed over a 4-year period. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a general decline in the incidence of non-elective neurosurgical cases, which was driven by a reduced number of traumatic brain injuries, spine conditions, and chronic subdural hematomas. Thirty-day mortality did not significantly increase overall or for any of the conditions examined during the peak of the pandemic. The neurosurgical community in these three European countries observed a decrease in the incidence of some neurosurgical emergencies with 30-day mortality rates comparable to previous years (2017-2019). Lower incidence of neurosurgical cases is likely related to restrictions placed on mobility within countries, but may also involve delayed patient presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Neurosurgical Procedures/mortality , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Europe , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
14.
Neurosurgery ; 88(1): E1-E12, 2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024127

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Evolving requirements for patient and physician safety and rapid regulatory changes have stimulated interest in neurosurgical telemedicine in the COVID-19 era. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic literature review investigating treatment of neurosurgical patients via telemedicine, and to evaluate barriers and challenges. Additionally, we review recent regulatory changes that affect telemedicine in neurosurgery, and our institution's initial experience. METHODS: A systematic review was performed including all studies investigating success regarding treatment of neurosurgical patients via telemedicine. We reviewed our department's outpatient clinic billing records after telemedicine was implemented from 3/23/2020 to 4/6/2020 and reviewed modifier 95 inclusion to determine the number of face-to-face and telemedicine visits, as well as breakdown of weekly telemedicine clinic visits by subspecialty. RESULTS: A total of 52 studies (25 prospective and 27 retrospective) with 45 801 patients were analyzed. A total of 13 studies were conducted in the United States and 39 in foreign countries. Patient management was successful via telemedicine in 99.6% of cases. Telemedicine visits failed in 162 cases, 81.5% of which were due to technology failure, and 18.5% of which were due to patients requiring further face-to-face evaluation or treatment. A total of 16 studies compared telemedicine encounters to alternative patient encounter mediums; telemedicine was equivalent or superior in 15 studies. From 3/23/2020 to 4/6/2020, our department had 122 telemedicine visits (65.9%) and 63 face-to-face visits (34.1%). About 94.3% of telemedicine visits were billed using face-to-face procedural codes. CONCLUSION: Neurosurgical telemedicine encounters appear promising in resource-scarce times, such as during global pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
15.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e323-e327, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-957482

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The health care field has been faced with unprecedented challenges during the COVID 19 pandemic. One such challenge was the implementation of enhanced telehealth capabilities to ensure continuity of care. In this study, we aim to understand differences between subspecialties with regard to patient consent and satisfaction following telehealth implementation. METHODS: A retrospective review of the electronic medical record was performed from March 2 to May 8, 2020 to evaluate surgical consents before and after telehealth implementation. Press Ganey survey results were also obtained both pre- and posttelehealth implementation and compared. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the percentage of new patients consented for surgery (after being seen via telehealth only) between the cranial and spine services. For procedures in which >10 patients were consented for surgery, the highest proportion of patients seen only via telehealth was for ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement/endoscopic third ventriculostomy for the cranial service, and lumbar laminectomy and microdiscectomy for the spine service. Additionally, the spine service experienced marked improvement in Press Ganey scores posttelehealth implementation with overall doctor ranking improving from the 29th to the 93rd percentile, and likelihood to recommend increasing from the 24th to the 94th percentile. CONCLUSIONS: There were clear trends with regard to which pathologies and procedures were most amenable to telehealth visits, which suggests a potential roadmap for future clinic planning. Additionally, the notable improvement in spine patient satisfaction following the implementation of a telehealth program suggests the need for long-term process changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records/trends , Neurosurgery/trends , Telemedicine/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Neurosurgery/methods , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
16.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e1079-e1082, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a great impact over all elective neurosurgical activity and important implications in management of neurosurgical urgencies. During the pandemic, some pediatric hospitals reported their experiences. After the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health care system needs to be reorganized to again manage all nonurgent activities, while ensuring safety of both patients and health care workers. METHODS: We developed preventive measures to limit any possibility of COVID-19 spread, according to the principles of epidemiologic prevention and suggestions from recent literature. To evaluate the efficacy of these measures, we retrospectively reviewed the neurosurgical activity at our institution from May 4 to July 15, 2020. RESULTS: One hundred nineteen patients were admitted to the neurosurgical ward, and 80 surgical procedures were performed. Furthermore, 130 outpatient clinics were scheduled. A total of 258 nasopharyngeal swabs and 249 specific interviews were performed. In our series, no cases of positivity for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection were found, and no surgical cases were postponed. DISCUSSION: We present the management of the neurosurgical activity after the emergency phase at the Neurosurgical Department of Giannina Gaslini Children's Hospital in Genoa, Italy. CONCLUSIONS: The Italian health care system is undertaking a process of reorganization of resources, in an attempt to restore all nonurgent activities while ensuring safety. After the emergency phase, we are learning to live together with COVID-19 and, although epidemiologic data are encouraging, we must be prepared for an eventual second peak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/trends , Hospitals, Pediatric/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Elective Surgical Procedures/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Neurosurgery/methods , Neurosurgery/trends , Outpatient Clinics, Hospital/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Retrospective Studies
17.
World Neurosurg ; 146: 103-112, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-929431

ABSTRACT

Preoperative testing and evaluation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been an enigmatic challenge for the neurosurgical community during the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, laboratory diagnostic methods have evolved substantially, and with them has been the necessity for readily available, fast, and accurate preoperative testing methods. In this article, we provide an overview of the various laboratory testing methods that are presently available and a comprehensive literature review how various institutes and neurosurgical communities across the globe are employing them to ensure safe and effective delivery of surgical care to patients. Through this review, we highlight the guiding principles for preoperative testing, which may serve as a road map for other medical institutions to follow. In addition, we provide an Indian perspective of preoperative testing and share our experience in this regard.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgeons/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Preoperative Care/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Humans , India/epidemiology , Neurosurgery/methods , Neurosurgery/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Preoperative Care/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards
18.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e768-e772, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917451

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected patient care across specialties. Ramifications for neurosurgery include substantial disruptions to surgical training and changes in nonurgent patient presentations to the emergency department. This study quantifies the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of emergency department patients who were referred to the neurosurgery department for further consultation and treatment and identifies and describes trends in the characteristics of these visits. METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of neurosurgical consultations at a single high-volume institution for 28 call-day periods before and after the official announcement of the pandemic. Primary outcomes included consultations per call-day, patient presentation category, and patient admission. RESULTS: The neurosurgical service was consulted regarding 629 patients (367 male patients) during the study period, with 471 (75%) and 158 (25%) patients presenting before and after the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. The mean number of neurosurgical consultations per call-day was significantly lower in the COVID-19 period (5.6 consultations) compared with the pre-COVID-19 period (16.8 consultations) (P < 0.001). After adjusting for patient demographics, the rate of presentation for general nonurgent concerns, such as back pain, headaches, and other general weaknesses, significantly decreased (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.60 [0.47-0.77], P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Neurosurgical consultations significantly decreased after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a substantially lower overall number of consultations necessitating operative interventions. Furthermore, the relative number of patients with nonemergent neurological conditions significantly decreased during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgery/trends , Propensity Score , Referral and Consultation/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery/methods , Retrospective Studies
19.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e811-e816, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Online education has provided an important tool to continue medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study aimed to evaluate trainee and attending perceptions of online webinars as an educational tool in neurosurgery. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey study. A web-based 19-question survey was distributed to the people who attended the webinar series that was carried out by the Saudi Association of Neurological Surgery from March 29, 2020 to May 31, 2020. Candidates were identified through their registration e-mails. The survey was distributed June 5-8, 2020. RESULTS: A total of 156 responses were received (survey response rate: 60%). The overall satisfaction rate among residents and attendings (board-certified neurosurgeons) was similar (>80%). However, only 56.4% of attendings reported they were comfortable with online webinars compared with 81.2% of residents (P value <0.0001). Seventy-five percent of residents found online lectures more useful than traditional in-person lectures compared with 52% of attendings (P value = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Online educational webinars provide an educational value that can be considered as an adjunct to traditional (in-person) education methods. Among trainees, the satisfaction of neurosurgery webinars was encouraging to consider as an education method. More objective research and progress are required to adopt and refine existing online didactic and neurosurgical teaching tools while creating more engaging future distant learning models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/trends , Internship and Residency/trends , Neurosurgery/trends , Perception , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Medical/methods , Education, Medical/trends , Female , Forecasting , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgery/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control
20.
World Neurosurg ; 145: e184-e191, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907982

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine refers to various modalities for remote care, including telephone calls, imaging review, and real-time video teleconferencing visits. Although it has not been widely used in outpatient neurosurgery settings, the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic has necessitated a broader adoption. Our goal is to show the level of patient satisfaction with their telemedicine care. METHODS: We prospectively studied consecutive telemedicine patients who scheduled outpatient neurosurgery visits from May 15 to June 8, 2020. Patients were seen by the surgeon via real-time video conferencing using Google Meet, and then completed a telemedicine satisfaction survey. Our primary outcome was telemedicine satisfaction scores. We compared satisfaction scores between new and established patients and between patients within and outside of a 15-mile radius of the nearest clinic location. Sensitivity analyses were performed to account for the nonrespondents. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed. A P value of <0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: Five-hundred and ninety patients completed a telemedicine visit during the study period. One patient from out of state was excluded. Three-hundred and ten patients (52.6%) responded. The average age was 60.9 ± 13.60 years; 59% were female, 20.6% were new patients; the average distance to the clinic was 28.03 ± 36.09 km (17.42 ± 22.43 miles). The mean overall satisfaction score was 6.32 ± 1.27. Subgroup analyses by new/established patient status and distance from their home to the clinic showed no significant difference in mean satisfaction scores between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine provided a viable and satisfactory option for neurosurgical patients in the outpatient setting during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery/methods , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
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