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1.
World Neurosurg ; 156: 133-146.e6, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527881

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Intracranial surgery can be complex and high risk. Safety, ethical and financial factors make training in the area challenging. Head model 3-dimensional (3D) printing is a realistic training alternative to patient and traditional means of cadaver and animal model simulation. OBJECTIVE: To describe important factors relating to the 3D printing of human head models and how such models perform as simulators. METHODS: Searches were performed in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science. Articles were screened independently by 3 reviewers using Covidence software. Data items were collected under 5 categories: study information; printers and processes; head model specifics; simulation and evaluations; and costs and production times. RESULTS: Forty articles published over the last 10 years were included in the review. A range of printers, printing methods, and substrates were used to create head models and tissue types. Complexity of the models ranged from sections of single tissue type (e.g., bone) to high-fidelity integration of multiple tissue types. Some models incorporated disease (e.g., tumors and aneurysms) and artificial physiology (e.g., pulsatile circulation). Aneurysm clipping, bone drilling, craniotomy, endonasal surgery, and tumor resection were the most commonly practiced procedures. Evaluations completed by those using the models were generally favorable. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this review indicate that those who practice surgery and surgical techniques on 3D-printed head models deem them to be valuable assets in cranial surgery training. Understanding how surgical simulation on such models affects surgical performance and patient outcomes, and considering cost-effectiveness, are important future research endeavors.


Subject(s)
Head/anatomy & histology , Models, Anatomic , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Printing, Three-Dimensional , Craniotomy/methods , Humans
2.
World Neurosurg ; 150: e790-e793, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global burden of neurosurgical disease is substantial, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Medical conferences are important in connecting those from LMICs to those from high-income countries for support and serve as an educational and networking tool. In this study, we sought to quantitatively assess the incorporation of global neurosurgery topics in international conferences related to the neurosurgical specialty. METHODS: A database of major international neurosurgical conferences, from the conference of a group of 9 major neurosurgical societies, that had global neurosurgery featured from 2015 to 2020 was created. We then did a retrospective analysis to study the characteristics of these conferences ranging from geographic location to number to different components of the conferences. RESULTS: There was an increase in the number of conferences with global neurosurgery since 2015. This, in addition to the occurrence of 3 wholly global neurosurgery-related conferences in recent years, is promising and suggests growth in the field. However, 52.6% of conferences took place in North American or European countries, the majority of which were high-income countries. Furthermore, a majority of the presence of global neurosurgery was in the form of individual talks (54.5%) as opposed to plenaries or sessions. CONCLUSIONS: The preponderance of conferences in North America and Europe can pose barriers for those from LMICs including travel time, expenses, and visa problems. As global neurosurgery becomes an increasing part of the global health movement, we hope that these barriers are addressed. Conferences may become an even stronger tool to promote equity in neurosurgical education and practice.


Subject(s)
Congresses as Topic/trends , Global Health/trends , Internationality , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Cohort Studies , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Retrospective Studies
3.
World Neurosurg ; 156: 133-146.e6, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454572

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Intracranial surgery can be complex and high risk. Safety, ethical and financial factors make training in the area challenging. Head model 3-dimensional (3D) printing is a realistic training alternative to patient and traditional means of cadaver and animal model simulation. OBJECTIVE: To describe important factors relating to the 3D printing of human head models and how such models perform as simulators. METHODS: Searches were performed in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science. Articles were screened independently by 3 reviewers using Covidence software. Data items were collected under 5 categories: study information; printers and processes; head model specifics; simulation and evaluations; and costs and production times. RESULTS: Forty articles published over the last 10 years were included in the review. A range of printers, printing methods, and substrates were used to create head models and tissue types. Complexity of the models ranged from sections of single tissue type (e.g., bone) to high-fidelity integration of multiple tissue types. Some models incorporated disease (e.g., tumors and aneurysms) and artificial physiology (e.g., pulsatile circulation). Aneurysm clipping, bone drilling, craniotomy, endonasal surgery, and tumor resection were the most commonly practiced procedures. Evaluations completed by those using the models were generally favorable. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this review indicate that those who practice surgery and surgical techniques on 3D-printed head models deem them to be valuable assets in cranial surgery training. Understanding how surgical simulation on such models affects surgical performance and patient outcomes, and considering cost-effectiveness, are important future research endeavors.


Subject(s)
Head/anatomy & histology , Models, Anatomic , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Printing, Three-Dimensional , Craniotomy/methods , Humans
4.
World Neurosurg ; 154: e118-e129, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337002

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Neurosurgical patients are at a higher risk of having a severe course of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The objective of this study was to determine morbidity, hospital course, and mortality of neurosurgical patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in a multicenter health care system. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted to identify all hospitalized neurosurgical patients positive for COVID-19 from March 11, 2020 to November 2, 2020 at Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Health System. RESULTS: Eleven hospitalized neurosurgical patients (0.68%) were positive for COVID-19. Four patients (36.6%) were men and 7 (63.3%) were women. The mean age was 65.7 years (range, 35-81 years). All patients had comorbidities. The mean length of stay was 13.4 days (range, 4-30 days). Seven patients had a central nervous system malignancy (4 metastases, 1 meningioma, 1 glioblastoma, and 1 schwannoma). Three patients presented with cerebrovascular complications, comprising 2 spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhages and 1 ischemic large-vessel stroke. One patient presented with an unstable traumatic spinal burst fracture. Four patients underwent neurosurgical/neuroendovascular interventions. Discharge disposition was to home in 5 patients, rehabilitation facility in 3, and hospice in 3. Five patients had died at follow-up, 3 within 30 days from COVID-19 complications and 2 from progression of their metastatic cancer. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 is rare among the inpatient neurosurgical population. In all cases, patients had multiple comorbidities. All symptomatic patients from the respiratory standpoint had complications during their hospitalization. Deaths of 3 patients who died within 30 days of hospitalization were all related to COVID-19 complications. Neurosurgical procedures were performed only if deemed emergent.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Central Nervous System Neoplasms/surgery , Cerebrovascular Disorders/complications , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/mortality , Pandemics , Patient Readmission/statistics & numerical data , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Spinal Fractures/surgery , Treatment Outcome
5.
World Neurosurg ; 155: e34-e40, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331291

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic surpasses 1 year, it is prudent to reflect on the challenges faced and the management strategies employed to tackle this overwhelming health care crisis. We undertook this study to validate our institutional protocols, which were formulated to cater to the change in volume and pattern of neurosurgical cases during the raging pandemic. METHODS: All admitted patients scheduled to undergo major neurosurgical intervention during the lockdown period (15 March 2020 to 15 September 2020) were included in the study. The data involving surgery outcomes, disease pattern, anesthesia techniques, patient demographics, as well as COVID-19 status, were analyzed and compared with similar retrospective data of neurosurgical patients operated during the same time period in the previous year (15 March 2019 to 15 September 2019). RESULTS: Barring significant increase in surgery for stroke (P = 0.008) and hydrocephalus (P <0.001), the overall case load of neurosurgery during the study period in 2020 was 42.75% of that in 2019 (P < 0.001), attributable to a significant reduction in elective spine surgeries (P < 0.001). However, no significant difference was observed in the overall incidence of emergency and essential surgeries undertaken during the 2 time periods (P = 0.482). There was an increased incidence in the use of monitored anesthesia care techniques during emergency and essential neurosurgical procedures by the anesthesia team in 2020 (P < 0.001). COVID-19 patients had overall poor outcomes (P = 0.003), with significant increase in mortality among those subjected to general anesthesia vis-a-vis monitored anesthesia care (P = 0.014). CONCLUSIONS: Despite a significant decrease in neurosurgical workload during the COVID-19 lockdown period in 2020, the volume of emergency and essential surgeries did not change much compared with the previous year. Surgery in COVID-19 patients is best avoided, unless critical, as the outcome in these patients is not favorable. The employment of monitored anesthesia care techniques like awake craniotomy and regional anesthesia facilitate a better outcome in the ongoing COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Health Resources/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/trends , Clinical Protocols , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
6.
World Neurosurg ; 152: 80-83, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267966

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The respiratory illness identified as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in a pandemic illness that has changed the face of healthcare. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, patients have continued to require neurosurgical interventions, and the endoscopic endonasal approach for surgery has continued to be a mainstay treatment of pituitary tumors and anterior skull base lesions. METHODS: We sought to highlight the current lack of recommendations regarding testing protocols for neurosurgical patients. RESULTS: We implemented a novel testing protocol for our patient populations at increased risk and have proposed a model that can be used at other institutions to mitigate the risk of complications associated with some forms of COVID-19 testing. CONCLUSION: Patients with anterior skull base defects may be at risk with current COVID-19 testing protocols, and may benefit from alternative specimen collection strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/complications , Neurosurgical Procedures , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak/etiology , Humans , Nasal Cavity/surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pituitary Neoplasms/surgery , Skull Base/surgery
7.
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
8.
World Neurosurg ; 149: e1090-e1097, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, concerns have been raised regarding the increased risk of perioperative mortality for patients with COVID-19, and the transmission risk to healthcare workers, especially during endonasal neurosurgical operations. The Pituitary Society has produced recommendations to guide management during this era. We sought to assess contemporary neurosurgical practice and the effects of COVID-19. METHODS: A multicenter prospective observational cohort study was conducted at 12 tertiary neurosurgical units (United Kingdom and Ireland). Data were collected from March 23 to July 31, 2020, inclusive. The data points collected included patient demographics, preoperative COVID-19 test results, operative modifications, and 30-day COVID-19 infection rates. RESULTS: A total of 124 patients were included. Of the 124 patients, 116 (94%) had undergone COVID-19 testing preoperatively (transsphenoidal approach, 97 of 105 [92%]; expanded endoscopic endonasal approach, 19 of 19 [100%]). One patient (1 of 116 [0.9%]) had tested positive for COVID-19 preoperatively, requiring a delay in surgery until the infection had been confirmed as resolved. Other than transient diabetes insipidus, no other complications were reported for this patient. All operating room staff had worn at least level 2 personal protective equipment. Adaptations to surgical techniques included minimizing drilling, draping modifications, and the use of a nasal iodine wash. At 30 days postoperatively, no evidence of COVID-19 infection (symptoms or positive formal testing results) were found in our cohort and no mortality had occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative screening protocols and operative modifications have facilitated endonasal neurosurgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Pituitary Society guidelines followed for most of these operations. We found no evidence of COVID-19 infection in our cohort and no mortality, supporting the use of risk mitigation strategies to continue endonasal neurosurgery in subsequent pandemic waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea/etiology , Nasal Cavity/surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Skull Base/surgery , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Cohort Studies , Endoscopy , Female , Humans , Ireland , Male , Mass Screening , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Preoperative Period , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom , Young Adult
9.
Adv Med Sci ; 66(1): 221-230, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116131

ABSTRACT

Transnasal endoscopic skull base surgery (eSBS) has been adopted in recent years, in great part to replace the extended procedures required by external approaches. Though sometimes perceived as "minimally invasive", eSBS still necessitates extensive manipulations within the nose/paranasal sinuses. Furthermore, exposure of susceptible cerebral structures to light and heat emanated by the telescope should be considered to comprehensively evaluate the safety of the method. While the number of studies specifically targeting eSBS safety still remains scarce, the problem has recently expanded with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which also has implications for the safety of the surgical personnel. It must be stressed that eSBS may directly expose the surgeon to potentially high volumes of virus-contaminated aerosol. Thus, the anxiety of both the patient and the surgeon must be taken into account. Consequently, safety requirements must follow the highest standards. This paper summarizes current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 biology and the peculiarities of human immunology in respect of the host-virus relationship, taking into account the latest information concerning the SARS-CoV-2 worrisome affinity for the nervous system. Based on this information, a workflow proposal is offered for consideration. This could be useful not only for the duration of the pandemic, but also during the unpredictable timeline involving our coexistence with the virus. Recommendations include technical modifications to the operating theatre, personal protective equipment, standards of testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection, prophylactic pretreatment with interferon, anti-IL6 treatment and, last but not least, psychological support for the patient.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Skull Base/surgery , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery/adverse effects , Natural Orifice Endoscopic Surgery/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/adverse effects , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Risk Management/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e1191-e1201, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1026721

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect all aspects of health care delivery, and neurosurgical practices are not immune to its impact. We aimed to evaluate neurosurgical practice patterns as well as the perioperative incidence of COVID-19 in neurosurgical patients and their outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective review of neurosurgical and neurointerventional cases at 2 tertiary centers during the first 3 months of the first peak of COVID-19 pandemic (March 8 to June 8) as well as following 3 months (post-peak pandemic; June 9 to September 9) was performed. Baseline characteristics, perioperative COVID-19 test results, modified Medically Necessary, Time-Sensitive (mMeNTS) score, and outcome measures were compared between COVID-19-positive and-negative patients through bivariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: In total, 652 neurosurgical and 217 neurointerventional cases were performed during post-peak pandemic period. Cervical spine, lumbar spine, functional/pain, cranioplasty, and cerebral angiogram cases were significantly increased in the postpandemic period. There was a 2.9% (35/1197) positivity rate for COVID-19 testing overall and 3.6% (13/363) positivity rate postoperatively. Age, mMeNTS score, complications, length of stay, case acuity, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, and disposition were significantly different between COVID-19-positive and-negative patients. CONCLUSIONS: A significant increase in elective case volume during the post-peak pandemic period is feasible with low and acceptable incidence of COVID-19 in neurosurgical patients. COVID-19-positive patients were younger, less likely to undergo elective procedures, had increased length of stay, had more complications, and were discharged to a location other than home. The mMeNTS score plays a role in decision-making for scheduling elective cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Perioperative Care/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , District of Columbia/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perioperative Care/methods , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
11.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(2): e16, 2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021880

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: One of the challenges neurosurgeons are facing in the global public health crisis caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is to balance COVID-19 screening with timely surgery. We described a clinical pathway for patients who needed emergency brain surgery and determined whether differences in the surgery preparation process caused by COVID-19 screening affected clinical outcomes. METHODS: During the COVID-19 period, patients in need of emergency brain surgery in our institution were managed using a novel standardized pathway designed for COVID-19 screening. We conducted a retrospective review of patients who were hospitalized through the emergency room and underwent emergency brain surgery. A total of 32 patients who underwent emergency brain surgery from February 1 to June 30, 2020 were included in the COVID-19 group, and 65 patients who underwent surgery from February 1 to June 30, 2019 were included in the pre-COVID-19 group. The baseline characteristics, disease severity indicators, time intervals of emergency processes, and clinical outcomes of the two groups were compared. Subgroup analysis was performed between the immediate surgery group and the semi-elective surgery group during the COVID-19 period. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics and severity indicators between the pre-COVID-19 group and COVID-19 group. The time interval to skin incision was significantly increased in the COVID-19 group (P = 0.027). However, there were no significant differences in the clinical outcomes between the two groups. In subgroup comparison, the time interval to skin incision was shorter in the immediate surgery group during the COVID-19 period compared with the pre-COVID-19 group (P = 0.040). The screening process did not significantly increase the time interval to classification and admission for immediate surgery. The time interval to surgery initiation was longer in the COVID-19 period due to the increased time interval in the semi-elective surgery group (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: We proposed a clinical pathway for the preoperative screening of COVID-19 in patients requiring emergency brain surgery. No significant differences were observed in the clinical outcomes before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The protocol we described showed acceptable results during this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Brain/surgery , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Pathways , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Aged , Brain/pathology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Treatment , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
12.
World Neurosurg ; 148: e209-e217, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003130

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The occurrence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has overwhelmed the blood supply chain worldwide and severely influenced clinical procedures with potential massive blood loss, such as clipping surgery for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Whether acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) is safe and effective in aneurysm clipping remains largely unknown. METHODS: Patients with aSAH who underwent clipping surgery within 72 hours from bleeding were included. The patients in the ANH group received 400 mL autologous blood collection, and the blood was returned as needed during surgery. The relationships between ANH and perioperative allogeneic blood transfusion, postoperative outcome, and complications were analyzed. RESULTS: Sixty-two patients with aSAH were included between December 2019 and June 2020 (20 in the ANH group and 42 in the non-ANH group). ANH did not reduce the need of perioperative blood transfusion (3 [15%] vs. 5 [11.9%]; P = 0.734). However, ANH significantly increased serum hemoglobin levels on postoperative day 1 (11.5 ± 2.5 g/dL vs. 10.3 ± 2.0 g/dL; P = 0.045) and day 3 (12.1 ± 2.0 g/dL vs. 10.7 ± 1.3 g/dL; P = 0.002). Multivariable analysis indicated that serum hemoglobin level on postoperative day 1 (odds ratio, 0.895; 95% confidence interval, 0.822-0.973; P = 0.010) was an independent risk factor for unfavorable outcome, and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that it had a comparable predictive power to World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade (Z = 0.275; P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: ANH significantly increased postoperative hemoglobin levels, and it may hold the potential to improve patients' outcomes. Routine use of ANH should be considered in aneurysm clipping surgery.


Subject(s)
Aneurysm, Ruptured/surgery , Blood Transfusion, Autologous/methods , Bloodless Medical and Surgical Procedures/methods , Hemodilution/methods , Intracranial Aneurysm/surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/surgery , Adult , Aged , Blood Transfusion/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Female , Hemoglobins/metabolism , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Perioperative Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Surgical Instruments
13.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e747-e754, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997588

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has affected the global provision of neurosurgical services. We sought to review the impact of COVID-19 on the neurosurgical services in Africa. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was distributed to African neurosurgeons seeking to review demographics, national and neurosurgical preparedness, and change in clinical services in April 2020. RESULTS: A total of 316 responses from 42 countries were received. Of these, 81.6% of respondents were male and 79.11% were under the age of 45 years. In our sample, 123 (38.92%) respondents were in training. Most (94.3%) respondents stated they had COVID-19 cases reported in their country as of April 2020. Only 31 (41.50%) had received training on managing COVID-19. A total of 173 (54.70%) respondents were not performing elective surgery. There was a deficit in the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE): surgical masks (90.80%), gloves (84.80%), N95 masks (50.80%), and shoe covers (49.10%). Health ministry (80.40%), World Health Organization (74.50%), and journal papers (41.40%) were the most common sources of information on COVID-19. A total of 43.60% had a neurosurgeon in the COVID-19 preparedness team; 59.8% were concerned they may contract COVID-19 at work with a further 25.90% worried they may infect their family. Mental stress as a result of COVID-19 was reported by 14.20% of respondents. As of April 2020, 73.40% had no change in their income. CONCLUSIONS: Most African countries have a national COVID-19 policy response plan that is not always fully suited to the local neurosurgery services. There is an ongoing need for PPE and training for COVID-19 preparedness. There has been a reduction in clinical activities both in clinic and surgeries undertaken.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Africa/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods
14.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E12, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954707

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, endoscopic endonasal surgery (EES) is feared to be a high-risk procedure for the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Nonetheless, data are lacking regarding the management of EES during the pandemic. The object of this study was to understand current worldwide practices pertaining to EES for skull base/pituitary tumors during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and provide a basis for the formulation of guidelines. METHODS: The authors conducted a web-based survey of skull base surgeons worldwide. Different practices by geographic region and COVID-19 prevalence were analyzed. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-five unique responses were collected. Regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), North America reported using more powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), and Asia and Europe reported using more standard precautions. North America and Europe resorted more to reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for screening asymptomatic patients. High-prevalence countries showed a higher use of PAPRs. The medium-prevalence group reported lower RT-PCR testing for symptomatic cases, and the high-prevalence group used it significantly more in asymptomatic cases.Nineteen respondents reported transmission of COVID-19 to healthcare personnel during EES, with a higher rate of transmission among countries classified as having a medium prevalence of COVID-19. These specific respondents (medium prevalence) also reported a lower use of airborne PPE. In the cases of healthcare transmission, the patient was reportedly asymptomatic 32% of the time. CONCLUSIONS: This survey gives an overview of EES practices during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Intensified preoperative screening, even in asymptomatic patients, RT-PCR for all symptomatic cases, and an increased use of airborne PPE is associated with decreased reports of COVID-19 transmission during EES.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Skull Base/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Nasal Cavity/surgery , Neuroendoscopy/methods , Neuroendoscopy/standards , Neurosurgeons/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Personal Protective Equipment/standards
15.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E16, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954602

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced medical professionals throughout the world to adapt to the changing medical scenario. The objective of this survey was to assess the change in neurosurgical training in India following the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Between May 7, 2020, and May 16, 2020, a validated questionnaire was circulated among neurosurgical residents across India by social media, regarding changes in the department's functioning, patient interaction, surgical exposure, changes in academics, and fears and apprehensions associated with the pandemic. The responses were kept anonymous and were analyzed for changes during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 118 residents from 29 neurosurgical training programs across 17 states/union territories of the country gave their responses to the survey questionnaire. The survey revealed that the surgical exposure of neurosurgical residents has drastically reduced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, from an average of 39.86 surgeries performed/assisted per month (median 30) to 12.31 per month (median 10), representing a decrease of 67.50%. The number of academic sessions has fallen from a median of 5 per week to 2 per week. The survey uncovered the lack of universal guidelines and homogeneity regarding preoperative COVID-19 testing. The survey also reveals reluctance toward detailed patient examinations since the COVID-19 outbreak. The majority of respondents felt that the COVID-19 pandemic will hamper their operative and clinical skills. Fear of rescheduling or deferring of licensing examinations was significantly higher among those closest to the examination (p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: The adverse impact of the pandemic on neurosurgical training needs to be addressed. While ensuring the safety of the residents, institutes and neurosurgical societies/bodies must take it upon themselves to ensure that their residents continue to learn and develop neurosurgical skills during these difficult times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Internship and Residency/methods , Neurosurgeons/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19/surgery , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male
16.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E18, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954494

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused dramatic changes in medical education. Social distancing policies have resulted in the rapid adoption of virtual learning (VL) by neurosurgeons as a method to exchange knowledge, but it has been met with variable acceptance. The authors surveyed neurosurgeons from around the world regarding their opinions about VL and how they see the future of neurosurgical conferences. METHODS: The authors conducted a global online survey assessing the experience of neurosurgeons and trainees with VL activities. They also questioned respondents about how they see the future of on-site conferences and scientific meetings. They analyzed responses against demographic data, regions in which the respondents practice, and socioeconomic factors by using frequency histograms and multivariate logistic regression models. RESULTS: Eight hundred ninety-one responses from 96 countries were received. There has been an increase in VL activities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most respondents perceive this type of learning as positive. Respondents from lower-income nations and regions such as Europe and Central Asia were more receptive to these changes and wanted to see further movement of educational activities (conferences and scientific meetings) into a VL format. The latter desire may be driven by financial savings from not traveling. Most queried neurosurgeons indicated that virtual events are likely to partially replace on-site events. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has improved perceptions of VL, and despite its limitations, VL has been well received by the majority of neurosurgeons. Lower-income nations in particular are embracing this technology. VL is still evolving, but its integration with traditional in-person meetings seems inevitable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/methods , Neurosurgeons/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Surveys and Questionnaires , Education, Distance/trends , Humans , Internationality , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Telecommunications/trends
17.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E17, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954005

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Neurosurgical education in the US has changed significantly as a consequence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Institutional social distancing requirements have resulted in many neurosurgical programs utilizing video conferencing for educational activities. However, it is unclear how or if these practices should continue after the pandemic. The objective of this study was to characterize virtual education in neurosurgery and understand how it should be utilized after COVID-19. METHODS: A 24-question, 3-part online survey was administered anonymously to all 117 US neurosurgical residency programs from May 15, 2020, to June 15, 2020. Questions pertained to the current use of virtual conferencing, preferences over traditional conferences, and future inclinations. The Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree, 3 = neutral, 5 = strongly agree) was used. Comparisons were calculated using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Statistical significance was set at 0.05. RESULTS: One-hundred eight responses were recorded. Overall, 38 respondents (35.2%) were attendings and 70 (64.8%) were trainees. Forty-one respondents (38.0%) indicated attending 5-6 conferences per week and 70 (64.8%) attend national virtual conferences. When considering different conference types, there was no overall preference (scores < 3) for virtual conferences over traditional conferences. In regard to future use, respondents strongly agreed that they would continue the practice at some capacity after the pandemic (median score 5). Overall, respondents agreed that virtual conferences would partially replace traditional conferences (median score 4), whereas they strongly disagreed with the complete replacement of traditional conferences (median score 1). The most common choices for the partial replacement of tradition conferences were case conferences (59/108, 55%) and board preparation (64/108, 59%). Lastly, there was a significant difference in scores for continued use of virtual conferencing in those who attend nationally sponsored conferences (median score 5, n = 70) and those who do not (median score 4, n = 38; U = 1762.50, z = 2.97, r = 0.29, p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Virtual conferences will likely remain an integral part of neurosurgical education after the COVID-19 pandemic has abated. Across the country, residents and faculty report a preference for continued use of virtual conferencing, especially virtual case conferences and board preparation. Some traditional conferences may even be replaced with virtual conferences, in particular those that are more didactic. Furthermore, nationally sponsored virtual conferences have a positive effect on the preferences for continued use of virtual conferences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Distance/standards , Internship and Residency/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/education , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telecommunications/standards , Adult , Aged , Education, Distance/methods , Female , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards
18.
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
19.
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
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