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1.
World Neurosurg ; 146: e91-e99, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-957481

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We sought to understand how the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has affected the neurosurgical workforce. METHODS: We created a survey consisting of 22 questions to assess the respondent's operative experience, location, type of practice, subspecialty, changes in clinic and operative volumes, changes to staff, and changes to income since the pandemic began. The survey was distributed electronically to neurosurgeons throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. RESULTS: Of the 724 who opened the survey link, 457 completed the survey. The respondents were from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and represented all practices types and subspecialties. Nearly all respondents reported hospital restrictions on elective surgeries. Most reported a decline in clinic and operative volume. Nearly 70% of respondents saw a decrease in the work hours of their ancillary providers, and almost one half (49.1%) of the respondents had had to downsize their practice staff, office assistants, nurses, schedulers, and other personnel. Overall, 43.6% of survey respondents had experienced a decline in income, and 27.4% expected a decline in income in the upcoming billing cycle. More senior neurosurgeons and those with a private practice, whether solo or as part of a group, were more likely to experience a decline in income as a result of the pandemic compared with their colleagues. CONCLUSION: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic will likely have a lasting effect on the practice of medicine. Our survey results have described the early effects on the neurosurgical workforce. Nearly all neurosurgeons experienced a significant decline in clinical volume, which led to many downstream effects. Ultimately, analysis of the effects of such a pervasive pandemic will allow the neurosurgical workforce to be better prepared for similar events in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Surveys and Questionnaires/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/standards , Health Personnel/trends , Humans , Neurosurgeons/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , United States/epidemiology , Workforce/standards , Workforce/trends
2.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E2, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954867

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a potentially severe respiratory illness that has threatened humanity globally. The pediatric neurosurgery practice differs from that of adults in that it treats children in various stages of physical and psychological development and contemplates diseases that do not exist in other areas. The aim of this study was to identify the level of knowledge and readiness of the healthcare providers, as well as to evaluate new preventive practices that have been introduced, psychological concerns, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric neurosurgical units in Brazil. METHODS: Pediatric neurosurgeons were given an online questionnaire developed by the Brazilian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their clinical practice. RESULTS: Of a cohort of 110 active members of the Brazilian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery, 76 completed the survey (69%). Ninety-six percent were aware of the correct use of and indication for the types of personal protective equipment in clinical and surgical practices, but only 73.7% of them had unrestricted access to this equipment. Ninety-eight percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the pandemic had affected their pediatric neurosurgical practice. The COVID-19 pandemic interfered with outpatient care in 88% of the centers, it affected neurosurgical activity in 90.7%, and it led to the cancellation of elective neurosurgical procedures in 57.3%. Concerning the impact of COVID-19 on surgical activity, 9.2% of the centers had less than 25% of the clinical practice affected, 46.1% had 26%-50% of their activity reduced, 35.5% had a 51%-75% reduction, and 9.2% had more than 75% of their surgical work cancelled or postponed. Sixty-three percent affirmed that patients had been tested for COVID-19 before surgery. Regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of those interviewed, 3.9% reported fear and anxiety with panic episodes, 7.9% had worsening of previous anxiety symptoms, 60.5% reported occasional fear, 10.5% had sadness and some depressive symptoms, and 2.6% reported depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to healthcare services worldwide, including neurosurgical units. Medical workers, pediatric neurosurgeons included, should be aware of safety measures and follow the recommendations of local healthcare organizations, preventing and controlling the disease. Attention should be given to the psychological burden of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers, which carries a high risk of anxiety and depression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/standards , Neurosurgery/standards , Pediatrics/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Societies, Medical/standards , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Neurosurgeons/psychology , Neurosurgeons/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
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
4.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E4, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954549

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the modification of surgical practice worldwide. Medical centers have been adapted to provide an efficient arrangement of their economic and human resources. Although neurosurgeons are not in the first line of management and treatment of COVID-19 patients, they take care of patients with neurological pathology and potential severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Here, the authors describe their institutional actions against the pandemic and compare these actions with those in peer-reviewed publications. METHODS: The authors conducted a search using the MEDLINE, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases from the beginning of the pandemic until July 11, 2020, using the following terms: "Neurosurgery," "COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2," "reconversion/modification," "practice," "academy," and "teaching." Then, they created operational guidelines tailored for their institution to maximize resource efficiency and minimize risk for the healthcare personnel. RESULTS: According to the reviewed literature, the authors defined the following three changes that have had the greatest impact in neurosurgical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic: 1) changes in clinical practices; 2) changes in the medical care setting, including modifications of perioperative care; and 3) changes in the academic teaching methodology. CONCLUSIONS: The Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía "Manuel Velasco Suárez" is one of the major referral centers for treating highly complex neurosurgical pathologies in Mexico. Its clinical and neurosurgical practices have been modified with the implementation of specific interventions against the spread of COVID-19. These practical and simple actions are remarkably relevant in the context of the pandemic and can be adopted and suited by other healthcare centers according to their available resources to better prepare for the next event.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Neurosurgeons/standards , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Perioperative Care/standards , Perioperative Care/trends , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends
5.
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
6.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E13, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953767

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Telemedicine has rapidly expanded in the recent years as technologies have afforded healthcare practitioners the ability to diagnose and treat patients remotely. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nonessential clinical visits were greatly limited, and much of the outpatient neurosurgical practice at the authors' institution was shifted quickly to telehealth. Although there are prior data suggesting that the use of telemedicine is satisfactory in other surgical fields, data in neurosurgery are limited. This study aimed to investigate both patient and provider satisfaction with telemedicine and its strengths and limitations in outpatient neurosurgery visits. METHODS: This quality improvement study was designed to analyze provider and patient satisfaction with telemedicine consultations in an outpatient neurosurgery clinic setting at a tertiary care, large-volume, academic center. The authors designed an 11-question survey for neurosurgical providers and a 13-question survey for patients using both closed 5-point Likert scale responses and multiple choice responses. The questionnaires were administered to patients and providers during the period when the clinic restricted in-person visits. At the conclusion of the study, the overall data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. RESULTS: During the study period, 607 surveys were sent out to patients seen by telehealth at the authors' academic center, and 122 responses were received. For the provider survey, 85 surveys were sent out to providers at the authors' center and other academic centers, and 40 surveys were received. Ninety-two percent of patients agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with that particular telehealth visit. Eighty-eight percent of patients agreed that their telehealth visit was more convenient for them than an in-person visit, but only 36% of patients stated they would like their future visits to be telehealth. Sixty-three percent of providers agreed that telehealth visits were more convenient for them than in-person visits, and 85% of responding providers stated that they wished to incorporate telehealth into their future practice. CONCLUSIONS: Although the authors' transition to telehealth was both rapid and unexpected, most providers and patients reported positive experiences with their telemedicine visits and found telemedicine to be an effective form of ambulatory neurosurgical care. Not all patients preferred telemedicine visits over in-person visits, but the high satisfaction with telemedicine by both providers and patients is promising to the future expansion of telehealth in ambulatory neurosurgery.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Neurosurgical Procedures/psychology , Patient Satisfaction , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures/standards , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Telemedicine/standards , Young Adult
7.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E8, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953541

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The recent COVID-19 outbreak has forced notable adjustments to surgical procedure preparation, including neurosurgical services. However, due to the uniqueness of the recent situation, neurosurgical centers, especially those located in low-resource settings, are facing several challenges such as a lack of coordination, poor equipment, and shortage of medical personnel. Therefore, several guidelines from local authorities and international neurosurgical bodies have been published to help clinicians manage their patients. In addition, the academic health system (AHS), which is an integrated system containing a medical institution, universities, and a teaching hospital, may play some role in the management of patients during COVID-19. The objective of this study was to describe how each hospital in the authors' network adjusted their neurosurgical practice and how the AHS of the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) played its role in the adaptation process during the pandemic. METHODS: The authors gathered both local and national data about the number of COVID-19 infections from the government's database. To assess the contribution of the AHS to the efforts of each hospital to address the pandemic, questionnaires were given to 6 neurosurgeons, 1 resident, and 2 general surgeons about the management of neurosurgical cases during the pandemic in their hospitals. RESULTS: The data illustrate various strategies to manage neurosurgical cases by hospitals within the authors' networks. The hospitals were grouped into three categories based on the transmission risk in each region. Most of these hospitals stated that UGM AHS had a positive impact on the changes in their strategies. In the early phase of the outbreak, some hospitals faced a lack of coordination between hospitals and related stakeholders, inadequate amount of personal protective equipment (PPE), and unclear regulations. As the nation enters a new phase, almost all hospitals had performed routine screening tests, had a sufficient amount of PPE for the medical personnel, and followed both national and international guidelines in caring for their neurosurgical patients. CONCLUSIONS: The management of neurosurgical procedures during the outbreak has been a challenging task and a role of the AHS in improving patient care has been experienced by most hospitals in the authors' network. In the future, the authors expect to develop a better collaboration for the next possible pandemic.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/standards , Advisory Committees/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals, General/standards , Neurosurgeons/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Academic Medical Centers/trends , Advisory Committees/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Hospitals, General/trends , Humans , Indonesia/epidemiology , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
8.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E3, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953512

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted healthcare systems globally. The need of the hour is the development of effective strategies for protecting the lives of healthcare providers (HCPs) and judicious triage for optimal utilization of human and hospital resources. During this pandemic, neurosurgery, like other specialties, must transform, innovate, and adopt new guidelines and safety protocols for reducing the risk of cross-infection of HCPs without compromising patient care. In this article, the authors discuss the current neurosurgical practice guidelines at a high-volume tertiary care referral hospital in India and compare them with international guidelines and global consensus for neurosurgery practice in the COVID-19 era. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the modifications incorporated into their clinical practice, including those for stratification of neurosurgical cases, patient triaging based on COVID-19 testing, optimal manpower management, infrastructure reorganization, evolving modules for resident training, and innovations in operating guidelines. The authors recommend the use of their blueprint for stratification of neurosurgical cases, including their protocol for algorithmic patient triage and management and their template for manpower allocation to COVID-19 duty, as a replicable model for efficient healthcare delivery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Workforce/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , COVID-19/surgery , COVID-19 Testing/trends , Checklist/standards , Checklist/trends , Health Workforce/trends , Humans , India/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Telemedicine/standards , Telemedicine/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends
9.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E9, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953489

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and of the subsequent lockdown on the neurosurgical services of the Veneto region in Italy compared to the previous 4 years. METHODS: A survey was conducted in all 6 neurosurgical departments in the Veneto region to collect data about surgical, inpatient care and endovascular procedures during the month of March for each year from 2016 to 2020. Safety measures to avoid infection from SARS-CoV-2 and any COVID-19 cases reported among neurosurgical patients or staff members were considered. RESULTS: The mean number of neurosurgical admissions for the month of March over the 2016-2019 period was 663, whereas in March 2020 admissions decreased by 42%. Emergency admissions decreased by 23%. The average number of neurosurgical procedures was 697, and declined by 30% (range -10% to -51% in individual centers). Emergency procedures decreased in the same period by 23%. Subarachnoid hemorrhage and spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage both decreased in Veneto-by 25% and 22%, respectively. Coiling for unruptured aneurysm, coiling for ruptured aneurysm, and surgery for ruptured aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation diminished by 49%, 27%, and 78%, respectively. Endovascular procedures for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) increased by 33% in 2020 (28 procedures in total). There was a slight decrease (8%) in brain tumor surgeries. Neurosurgical admissions decreased by 25% and 35% for head trauma and spinal trauma, respectively, while surgical procedures for head trauma diminished by 19% and procedures for spinal trauma declined by 26%. Admissions and surgical treatments for degenerative spine were halved. Eleven healthcare workers and 8 patients were infected in the acute phase of the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: This multicenter study describes the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak on neurosurgical activities in a vast region in Italy. Remodulation of neurosurgical activities has resulted in a significant reduction of elective and emergency surgeries compared to previous years. Most likely this is a combined result of cancellation of elective and postponable surgeries, increase of conservative management, increase in social restrictions, and in patients' fear of accessing hospitals. Curiously, only endovascular procedures for AIS have increased, possibly due to reduced physical activity or increased thrombosis in SARS-CoV-2. The confounding effect of thrombectomy increase over time cannot be excluded. No conclusion can be drawn on AIS incidence. Active monitoring with nasopharyngeal swabs, wearing face masks, and using separate pathways for infected patients reduce the risk of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Surveys and Questionnaires , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Personnel/trends , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends
10.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E7, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953401

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has affected surgical practice globally. Treating neurosurgical patients with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic is challenging in institutions with shared patient areas. The present study was performed to assess the changing patterns of neurosurgical cases, the efficacy of repeated testing before surgery, and the prevalence of COVID-19 in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients. METHODS: Cases of non-trauma-related neurosurgical patients treated at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were reviewed. During the pandemic, all patients underwent a nasopharyngeal swab reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test to detect COVID-19 at admission. Patients who needed immediate intervention were surgically treated following a single COVID-19 test, while stable patients who initially tested negative for COVID-19 were subjected to repeated testing at least 5 days after the first test and within 48 hours prior to the planned surgery. The COVID-19 positivity rate was compared with the local period prevalence. The number of patients who tested positive at the second test, following a negative first test, was used to determine the probable number of people who could have become infected during the surgical procedure without second testing. RESULTS: Of the total 1769 non-trauma-related neurosurgical patients included in this study, a mean of 337.2 patients underwent surgery per month before COVID-19, while a mean of 184.2 patients (54.6% of pre-COVID-19 capacity) underwent surgery per month during the pandemic period, when COVID-19 cases were on the rise in India. There was a significant increase in the proportion of patients undergoing surgery for a ruptured aneurysm, stroke, hydrocephalus, and cerebellar tumors, while the number of patients seeking surgery for chronic benign diseases declined. At the first COVID-19 test, 4 patients (0.48%) tested were found to have the disease, a proportion 3.7 times greater than that found in the local community. An additional 5 patients tested positive at the time of the second COVID-19 test, resulting in an overall inpatient period prevalence of 1%, in contrast to a 0.2% national cumulative caseload. It is possible that COVID-19 was prevented in approximately 67.4 people every month by using double testing. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has changed the pattern of neurosurgical procedures, with acute cases dominating the practice. Despite the fact that the pandemic has not yet reached its peak in India, COVID-19 has been detected 3.7 times more often in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients than in the local community, even with single testing. Double testing displays an incremental value by disclosing COVID-19 overall in 1 in 100 inpatients and thus averting its spread through neurosurgical services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/trends , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Prevalence , Treatment Outcome
11.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E5, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953187

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced healthcare systems worldwide to reshape their facilities and protocols. Although not considered the frontline specialty in managing COVID-19 patients, neurosurgical service and training were also significantly affected. This article focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak at a low- and/or middle-income country (LMIC) academic tertiary referral hospital, the university and hospital policies and actions for the neurosurgical service and training program during the outbreak, and the contingency plan for future reference on preparedness for service and education. METHODS: The authors collected data from several official databases, including the Indonesian Ministry of Health database, East Java provincial government database, hospital database, and neurosurgery operative case log. Policies and regulations information was obtained from stakeholders, including the Indonesian Society of Neurological Surgeons, the hospital board of directors, and the dean's office. RESULTS: The curve of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Indonesia had not flattened by the 2nd week of June 2020. Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia, became the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia. The neurosurgical service experienced a significant drop in cases (50% of cases from normal days) along all lines (outpatient clinic, emergency room, and surgical ward). Despite a strict preadmission screening, postoperative COVID-19 infection cases were detected during the treatment course of neurosurgical patients, and those with a positive COVID-19 infection had a high mortality rate. The reduction in the overall number of cases treated in the neurosurgical service had an impact on the educational and training program. The digital environment found popularity in the educational term; however, digital resources could not replace direct exposure to real patients. The education stakeholders adjusted the undergraduate students' clinical postings and residents' working schemes for safety reasons. CONCLUSIONS: The neurosurgery service at an academic tertiary referral hospital in an LMIC experienced a significant reduction in cases. The university and program directors had to adapt to an off-campus and off-hospital policy for neurosurgical residents and undergraduate students. The hospital instituted a reorganization of residents for service. The digital environment found popularity during the outbreak to support the educational process.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Internship and Residency/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/education , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Academic Medical Centers/standards , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Indonesia/epidemiology , Internship and Residency/standards , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Tertiary Care Centers/standards
12.
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
13.
World Neurosurg ; 146: 20-25, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894259

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Practice Guidelines as Topic/standards , Humans , Neurosurgery/standards , Neurosurgery/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
14.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 44(3): 635-636, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639909

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: During the Covid-19 pandemic every hospital has had to change its internal organization. Different institutions have highlighted the risks connected with endoscopic endonasal surgery. The goal of this paper is to illustrate the feasibility of pituitary region surgery during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. METHODS: After two negative Covid tests were obtained, three patients with macro GH-secreting tumors, and two patients with micro ACTH-secreting tumors resistant to medical treatment underwent surgery during the pandemic. During the surgery, every patient was treated as if they were positive. RESULTS: Neither operator, nor patient have developed Covid symptoms. The two neurosurgeons performing the operations underwent two Covid swab, which resulted negative. CONCLUSIONS: Pituitary surgery is a high risk non-urgent surgery. However, the method described has so far been effective and is safe for both patients and healthcare providers.


Subject(s)
ACTH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma/surgery , Adenoma/surgery , COVID-19 , Growth Hormone-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma/surgery , Infection Control , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Endoscopy/methods , Endoscopy/standards , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/standards , Italy/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Nose/surgery , Pandemics , Patient Safety/standards , Patient Selection , Protective Clothing , Protective Devices , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
17.
World Neurosurg ; 139: e864-e871, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-369750

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to assess the impact of public health policy in Australia in response to the coronavirus disease identified in 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the delivery of neurosurgical services. Being essential services, we postulated that there would not be a decrease in elective and emergency neurosurgical presentations and surgeries. METHODS: This is a prospective, observational, epidemiologic study in strict adherence to the "STROBE" (Strengthening The Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) guidelines. It is a cross-sectional, multicentric study involving 5 tertiary neurosurgical centers to capture all public neurosurgical admissions in Queensland during the past 3 months (February-April, 2020) of significant public health policy changes to combat COVID-19. RESULTS: An analysis of the 1298 admissions for the Queensland population of 5.07 million Australians demonstrated a decrease in the number of elective and emergency admissions. The decline in elective admissions, particularly degenerative spine, benign neoplasms, and vascular pathologies, was a direct response of government strategy to curb activity to urgent surgical interventions only. Moreover, a trend toward fewer emergency admissions was also noted, partly explained by less trauma and also a decline in vascular pathologies including subarachnoid hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison with Europe and North America, this study demonstrates the impact of proactive public health measures in Australia that successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve while facilitating ongoing care of acutely unwell neurosurgical patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
18.
World Neurosurg ; 139: e872-e876, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343016

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/trends , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Academic Medical Centers/standards , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Length of Stay/trends , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Young Adult
19.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(7): 643-647, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-327010

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has led to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the large number of patients affected, healthcare personnel and facility resources are stretched to the limit; however, the need for urgent and emergent neurosurgical care continues. This article describes best practices when performing neurosurgical procedures on patients with COVID-19 based on multi-institutional experiences. METHODS: We assembled neurosurgical practitioners from 13 different health systems from across the USA, including those in hot spots, to describe their practices in managing neurosurgical emergencies within the COVID-19 environment. RESULTS: Patients presenting with neurosurgical emergencies should be considered as persons under investigation (PUI) and thus maximal personal protective equipment (PPE) should be donned during interaction and transfer. Intubations and extubations should be done with only anesthesia staff donning maximal PPE in a negative pressure environment. Operating room (OR) staff should enter the room once the air has been cleared of particulate matter. Certain OR suites should be designated as covid ORs, thus allowing for all neurosurgical cases on covid/PUI patients to be performed in these rooms, which will require a terminal clean post procedure. Each COVID OR suite should be attached to an anteroom which is a negative pressure room with a HEPA filter, thus allowing for donning and doffing of PPE without risking contamination of clean areas. CONCLUSION: Based on a multi-institutional collaborative effort, we describe best practices when providing neurosurgical treatment for patients with COVID-19 in order to optimize clinical care and minimize the exposure of patients and staff.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Health Personnel/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , COVID-19 , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures/adverse effects , Operating Rooms/methods , Operating Rooms/standards , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , SARS-CoV-2
20.
World Neurosurg ; 139: 289-293, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-232517

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has left a lasting mark on medicine globally. METHODS: Here we outline the steps that the Lenox Hill Hospital/Northwell Health Neurosurgery Department-located within the epicenter of the pandemic in New York City-is currently taking to recover our neurosurgical efforts in the age of COVID-19. RESULTS: We outline measurable milestones to identify the transition to the recovery period and hope these recommendations may serve as a framework for an effective path forward. CONCLUSIONS: We believe that recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic offers unique opportunities to disrupt and rebuild the historical patient and office experience as we evolve with modern medicine in a post-COVID-19 world.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospitals, Urban/standards , Neurosurgery/standards , Neurosurgical Procedures/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/surgery , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Neurosurgery/methods , Neurosurgical Procedures/methods , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/surgery , SARS-CoV-2
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