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1.
Neurochirurgie ; 68(5): e22-e26, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2131959

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global healthcare system has been overwhelmed by the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). In order to mitigate the risk of spread of the virus, most elective surgical procedures have been cancelled especially during the lockdown periods. The purpose of this study was to assess the financial impact of the COVID outbreak due to the supposed reduced workload from our neurosurgery department in 2020. METHODS: Number of neurosurgical procedures (NSP) within the Department of Neurosurgery and their associated estimated income were retrospectively reviewed globally and month wise from administrative records of billing in 2020 and 2019 based on the Diagnosis related group (DRG) and severity of illness (4 levels). RESULTS: Overall, 824 and 818 inpatient surgical procedures were performed in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The total estimate revenue generated from inpatient surgeries was moderately decreased (3%): 9 498 226.41 euros in 2020 versus 9 817 361.65 euros in 2019 without significant difference across DRG (P=0.96) and severity of illness. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggests a moderate negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had on neurosurgical and financial activity. However, a more in-depth medico-economic analysis need to be performed to assess the real financial impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
2.
World Neurosurg ; 144: e710-e713, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096137

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has set a huge challenge to the delivery of neurosurgical services, including the transfer of patients. We aimed to share our strategy in handling neurosurgical emergencies at a remote center in Borneo island. Our objectives included discussing the logistic and geographic challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Miri General Hospital is a remote center in Sarawak, Malaysia, serving a population with difficult access to neurosurgical services. Two neurosurgeons were stationed here on a rotational basis every fortnight during the pandemic to handle neurosurgical cases. Patients were triaged depending on their urgent needs for surgery or transfer to a neurosurgical center and managed accordingly. All patients were screened for potential risk of contracting COVID-19 prior to the surgery. Based on this, the level of personal protective equipment required for the health care workers involved was determined. RESULTS: During the initial 6 weeks of the Movement Control Order in Malaysia, there were 50 urgent neurosurgical consultations. Twenty patients (40%) required emergency surgery or intervention. There were 9 vascular (45%), 5 trauma (25%), 4 tumor (20%), and 2 hydrocephalus cases (10%). Eighteen patients were operated at Miri General Hospital, among whom 17 (94.4%) survived. Ninety percent of anticipated transfers were avoided. None of the medical staff acquired COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: This framework allowed timely intervention for neurosurgical emergencies (within a safe limit), minimized transfer, and enabled uninterrupted neurosurgical services at a remote center with difficult access to neurosurgical care during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
Brain Neoplasms/surgery , Craniocerebral Trauma/surgery , Emergencies , Hemorrhagic Stroke/surgery , Hydrocephalus/surgery , Neurosurgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Patient Transfer/statistics & numerical data , Air Ambulances , Borneo/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations/surgery , Female , Hospitals, General , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Personal Protective Equipment , Skull Base Neoplasms/surgery , Transportation of Patients , Triage
3.
Trials ; 23(1): 242, 2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079532

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapidly increasing number of elderly (≥ 65 years old) with TBI is accompanied by substantial medical and economic consequences. An ASDH is the most common injury in elderly with TBI and the surgical versus conservative treatment of this patient group remains an important clinical dilemma. Current BTF guidelines are not based on high-quality evidence and compliance is low, allowing for large international treatment variation. The RESET-ASDH trial is an international multicenter RCT on the (cost-)effectiveness of early neurosurgical hematoma evacuation versus initial conservative treatment in elderly with a t-ASDH METHODS: In total, 300 patients will be recruited from 17 Belgian and Dutch trauma centers. Patients ≥ 65 years with at first presentation a GCS ≥ 9 and a t-ASDH > 10 mm or a t-ASDH < 10 mm and a midline shift > 5 mm, or a GCS < 9 with a traumatic ASDH < 10 mm and a midline shift < 5 mm without extracranial explanation for the comatose state, for whom clinical equipoise exists will be randomized to early surgical hematoma evacuation or initial conservative management with the possibility of delayed secondary surgery. When possible, patients or their legal representatives will be asked for consent before inclusion. When obtaining patient or proxy consent is impossible within the therapeutic time window, patients are enrolled using the deferred consent procedure. Medical-ethical approval was obtained in the Netherlands and Belgium. The choice of neurosurgical techniques will be left to the discretion of the neurosurgeon. Patients will be analyzed according to an intention-to-treat design. The primary endpoint will be functional outcome on the GOS-E after 1 year. Patient recruitment starts in 2022 with the exact timing depending on the current COVID-19 crisis and is expected to end in 2024. DISCUSSION: The study results will be implemented after publication and presented on international conferences. Depending on the trial results, the current Brain Trauma Foundation guidelines will either be substantiated by high-quality evidence or will have to be altered. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Nederlands Trial Register (NTR), Trial NL9012 . CLINICALTRIALS: gov, Trial NCT04648436 .


Subject(s)
Brain Injuries, Traumatic , COVID-19 , Hematoma, Subdural, Acute , Aged , Hematoma, Subdural, Acute/diagnosis , Hematoma, Subdural, Acute/surgery , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Neurosurgical Procedures , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Trauma Centers
5.
Neurosurg Focus ; 53(2): E4, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054887

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Training of residents is an essential but time-consuming and costly task in the surgical disciplines. During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, surgical education became even more challenging because of the reduced caseload due to the increased shift to corona care. In this context, augmented 360° 3D virtual reality (VR) videos of surgical procedures enable effective off-site training through virtual participation in the surgery. The goal of this study was to establish and evaluate 360° 3D VR operative videos for neurosurgical training. METHODS: Using a 360° camera, the authors recorded three standard neurosurgical procedures: a lumbar discectomy, brain metastasis resection, and clipping of an aneurysm. Combined with the stereoscopic view of the surgical microscope, 7- to 10-minute 360° 3D VR videos augmented with annotations, overlays, and commentary were created. These videos were then presented to the neurosurgical residents at the authors' institution using a head-mounted display. Before viewing the videos, the residents were asked to fill out a questionnaire indicating their VR experience and self-assessment of surgical skills regarding the specific procedure. After watching the videos, the residents completed another questionnaire to evaluate their quality and usefulness. The parameters were scaled with a 5-point Likert scale. RESULTS: Twenty-two residents participated in this study. The mean years of experience of the participants in neurosurgery was 3.2 years, ranging from the 1st through the 7th year of training. Most participants (86.4%) had no or less than 15 minutes of VR experience. The overall quality of the videos was rated good to very good. Immersion, the feeling of being in the operating room, was high, and almost all participants (91%) stated that 360° VR videos provide a useful addition to the neurosurgical training. VR sickness was negligible in the cohort. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the authors demonstrated the feasibility and high acceptance of augmented 360° 3D VR videos in neurosurgical training. Augmentation of 360° videos with complementary and interactive content has the potential to effectively support trainees in acquiring conceptual knowledge. Further studies are necessary to investigate the effectiveness of their use in improving surgical skills.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , Virtual Reality , Clinical Competence , Humans , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods
6.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 14631, 2022 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016827

ABSTRACT

Reflecting the first wave COVID-19 pandemic in Central Europe (i.e. March 16th-April 15th, 2020) the neurosurgical community witnessed a general diminution in the incidence of emergency neurosurgical cases, which was impelled by a reduced number of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spine conditions, and chronic subdural hematomas (CSDH). This appeared to be associated with restrictions imposed on mobility within countries but also to possible delayed patient introduction and interdisciplinary medical counseling. In response to one year of COVID-19 experience, also mapping the third wave of COVID-19 in 2021 (i.e. March 16 to April 15, 2021), we aimed to reevaluate the current prevalence and outcomes for emergency non-elective neurosurgical cases in COVID-19-negative patients across Austria and the Czech Republic. The primary analysis was focused on incidence and 30-day mortality in emergency neurosurgical cases compared to four preceding years (2017-2020). A total of 5077 neurosurgical emergency cases were reviewed. The year 2021 compared to the years 2017-2019 was not significantly related to any increased odds of 30 day mortality in Austria or in the Czech Republic. Recently, there was a significant propensity toward increased incidence rates of emergency non-elective neurosurgical cases during the third COVID-19 pandemic wave in Austria, driven by their lower incidence during the first COVID-19 wave in 2020. Selected neurosurgical conditions commonly associated with traumatic etiologies including TBI, and CSDH roughly reverted to similar incidence rates from the previous non-COVID-19 years. Further resisting the major deleterious effects of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, it is edifying to notice that the neurosurgical community´s demeanor to the recent third pandemic culmination keeps the very high standards of non-elective neurosurgical care alongside with low periprocedural morbidity. This also reflects the current state of health care quality in the Czech Republic and Austria.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematoma, Subdural, Chronic , Europe , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pandemics
7.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 220: 107376, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2015023

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurosurgery inequity between High-Income Countries and Low- and Middle-Income Countries is striking. Currently, several models of education and training are available each has advantages and limitations. Our goal is to suggest an integrative model of Education and Training with international collaboration which will assure the most cost-effective Training Model. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors reviewed the literature narratively and examined in broad stroke the different existing models of international education and training programs to analyze their strengths, limitations, and cost-effectiveness in addressing the needs of Neurosurgery in Low and middle-Income Countries. RESULTS: Several international institutions have been involved in Education and Training in Global Neurosurgery. The most common models for international education include short-term surgical mission and boot camps, a full residency training program in HICs, and a full residency training Program in Local or regional World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) reference centers in Low and Middle-Income Countries, and online education. In Africa, both Local residency training centers and WFNS reference centers are available and provide full training programs in Neurosurgery. Among them, WFNS Rabat Training Center is the first established center in Africa in 2002. This program is supported by the WFNS Foundation and by the Africa 100 Project. Some of these education models face currently challenges such as sustainability, financial support, and ethical issues. CONCLUSION: Training neurosurgeons from Low and Middle-Income countries in local and regional WFNS Training centers might be the most cost-effective model of training that helps close the gap in neurosurgery. This training Model is duplicable and may be integrated into a global cohesive and collaborative model of education with international institutions.


Subject(s)
Internship and Residency , Neurosurgery , Developing Countries , Humans , Neurosurgeons/education , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgical Procedures
8.
World Neurosurg ; 166: e607-e623, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000765

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: How attitudes toward neuroanatomy and preferences of studying resources vary among neurosurgeons is unknown. The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on anatomy learning habits is also yet to be elucidated. In this study, we explore these objectives, to guide the development of future neurosurgeon-tailored anatomy education and resources. METHODS: This was a 2-stage, cross-sectional study design comprising a local pilot survey followed by a structured 17-item questionnaire, distributed to both neurosurgical trainees and consultants. Grade and nationality differences in sentiment agreement were statistically compared. RESULTS: A total of 365 responses were received from 32 countries (overall response rate, 23.2%). Neuroanatomy is highly regarded among most neurosurgeons and takes a central role in their professional identity. Yet, 69% of neurosurgeons wanted to spend more time learning. Common study prompts included perceived operative complexity, lack of familiarity and teaching. Financial barriers and motivation were obstacles limiting neuroanatomy learning, more so among trainee neurosurgeons, with personal commitment barriers significantly varying with geographic location. Surgical relevance, accessibility, and image quality were important factors when selecting anatomy resources, with cost and up-to-datedness being important for juniors. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a shift toward virtual resources, particularly affecting United Kingdom-based trainees. CONCLUSIONS: Although neuroanatomy is well regarded, barriers exist that impede further neuroanatomy learning. Neurosurgical training programs should tailor anatomy education according to the seniority and background of their residents. Furthermore, resources that are surgically relevant and accessible and are of high image quality are more likely to be better used.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgeons , Attitude , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Neuroanatomy/education , Neurosurgeons/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
BMJ Open ; 12(8): e061208, 2022 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1993023

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The large number of infected patients requiring mechanical ventilation has led to the postponement of scheduled neurosurgical procedures during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of this study were to investigate the factors that influence the decision to postpone scheduled neurosurgical procedures and to evaluate the effect of the restriction in scheduled surgery adopted to deal with the first outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain on the outcome of patients awaiting surgery. DESIGN: This was an observational retrospective study. SETTINGS: A tertiary-level multicentre study of neurosurgery activity between 1 March and 30 June 2020. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 680 patients awaiting any scheduled neurosurgical procedure were enrolled. 470 patients (69.1%) were awaiting surgery because of spine degenerative disease, 86 patients (12.6%) due to functional disorders, 58 patients (8.5%) due to brain or spine tumours, 25 patients (3.7%) due to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) disorders and 17 patients (2.5%) due to cerebrovascular disease. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was mortality due to any reason and any deterioration of the specific neurosurgical condition. Second, we analysed the rate of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: More than one-quarter of patients experienced clinical or radiological deterioration. The rate of worsening was higher among patients with functional (39.5%) or CSF disorders (40%). Two patients died (0.4%) during the waiting period, both because of a concurrent disease. We performed a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine independent covariates associated with maintaining the surgical indication. We found that community SARS-CoV-2 incidence (OR=1.011, p<0.001), degenerative spine (OR=0.296, p=0.027) and expedited indications (OR=6.095, p<0.001) were independent factors for being operated on during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Patients awaiting neurosurgery experienced significant collateral damage even when they were considered for scheduled procedures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology
12.
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
13.
World Neurosurg ; 166: e404-e418, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937299

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Expanded access to training opportunities is necessary to address 5 million essential neurosurgical cases not performed annually, nearly all in low- and middle-income countries. To target this critical neurosurgical workforce issue and advance positive collaborations, a summit (Global Neurosurgery 2019: A Practical Symposium) was designed to assemble stakeholders in global neurosurgical clinical education to discuss innovative platforms for clinical neurosurgery fellowships. METHODS: The Global Neurosurgery Education Summit was held in November 2021, with 30 presentations from directors and trainees in existing global neurosurgical clinical fellowships. Presenters were selected based on chain referral sampling from suggestions made primarily from young neurosurgeons in low- and middle-income countries. Presentations focused on the perspectives of hosts, local champions, and trainees on clinical global neurosurgery fellowships and virtual learning resources. This conference sought to identify factors for success in overcoming barriers to improving access, equity, throughput, and quality of clinical global neurosurgery fellowships. A preconference survey was disseminated to attendees. RESULTS: Presentations included in-country training courses, twinning programs, provision of surgical laboratories and resources, existing virtual educational resources, and virtual teaching technologies, with reference to their applicability to hybrid training fellowships. Virtual learning resources developed during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and high-fidelity surgical simulators were presented, some for the first time to this audience. CONCLUSIONS: The summit provided a forum for discussion of challenges and opportunities for developing a collaborative consortium capable of designing a pilot program for efficient, sustainable, accessible, and affordable clinical neurosurgery fellowship models for the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Neurosurgery , Humans , Neurosurgeons , Neurosurgery/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/education
14.
J Clin Neurosci ; 103: 26-33, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914694

ABSTRACT

Postoperative fever is mostly transient and inconsequential but may portend a serious postoperative infection requiring a thorough evaluation, especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to determine the incidence, causes and outcomes of postoperative fever in neurosurgical patients, as well as to evaluate a protocol for management of postoperative fever. We conducted a prospective study over 12 months, recruiting 425 adult patients operated for non-traumatic neurosurgical indications. We followed a standard protocol for the evaluation and management of postoperative fever collecting data regarding operative details, daily maximal temperature, clinical features, as well as use of surgical drains, urinary catheters, and other invasive adjuncts. Elevated body temperature of > 99.9°F or 37.7 °C for over 48 h or associated with clinical deterioration or localising features was considered as "fever" and was evaluated according to our protocol. We classified elevated temperature not meeting this criterion as a transient elevation in temperature (TET). Sixty-five patients (13.5%) had postoperative fever. Transient elevation of temperature, occurring in 40 patients (8.8%) was most common in the first 48 h after surgery. The most common causes of fever were urinary tract infections (13.7%), followed by aseptic meningitis (10.8%), wound infections and pneumonia. Various aetiologies of fever followed distinct patterns, with COVID-19 and meningitis causing high-grade, prolonged fever. Multivariate analysis revealed cranial surgery, prolonged duration of surgery, urinary catheters and wound drains retained beyond POD 3 to predict fever. Postoperative fever was associated with significantly longer duration of hospital admission. COVID-19 had a high mortality rate in the early postoperative period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurosurgery , Adult , Fever , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pandemics , Prospective Studies
19.
J Clin Neurosci ; 101: 131-136, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814789

ABSTRACT

The stringent restrictions from shelter-in-place (SIP) policies placed on hospital operations during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp decrease in planned surgical procedures. This study quantifies the surgical rebound experienced across a neurosurgical service post SIP restrictions in order to guide future hospital programs with resource management. We conducted a retrospective review of all neurosurgical procedures at a public Level 1 trauma center between February 15th to August 30th for the years spanning 2018-2020. We categorized patient procedures into four comparative one-month periods: pre-SIP; SIP; post-SIP; and late recovery. Patient procedures were designated as either cranial; spinal; and other; as well as Elective or Add-on (Urgent/Emergent). Categorical variables were analyzed using χ2 tests and Fisher's exact tests. A total of 347 cases were reviewed across the four comparative periods and three years studied; with 174 and 152 spinal and cranial procedures; respectively. There was a proportional increase; relative to historical controls; in total spinal procedures (p-value < 0.001) and elective spinal procedures (p-value < 0.001) in the 2020 SIP to Post-SIP. The doubling of elective spinal cases in the Post-SIP period returned to historical baseline levels in three months after SIP restrictions were lifted. Total cranial procedures were proportionally increased during the SIP period relative to historical controls (p-value = 0.005). We provide a census on the post-pandemic neurosurgical operative demands at a major public Level 1 trauma hospital, which can potentially be applied for resource allocations in other disaster scenarios.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Elective Surgical Procedures , Emergency Shelter , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures , Pandemics , Trauma Centers
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