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1.
World Neurosurg ; 157: e357-e363, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757929

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prior studies demonstrated reduced risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) in neurosurgical patients secondary to prophylaxis with both heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin. The ability to monitor low-molecular-weight heparin by obtaining anti-factor Xa (anti-Xa) serum levels provides an opportunity to evaluate safety and efficacy. The aim of this study was to describe characteristics of patients who have anti-Xa levels outside of the goal range (0.2-0.4/0.5 IU/mL) and investigate incidence of major bleeding and VTE. METHODS: A single-center, retrospective, observational study was conducted on neurosurgical patients receiving enoxaparin for VTE prophylaxis between August 2019 and December 2020. Significance testing was conducted via Fisher exact test and independent samples t test. RESULTS: The study included 85 patients. Patients were less likely to have an anti-Xa level in the goal range if they were male, had a higher weight, or were morbidly obese. Three neuroendovascular patients (3.5%) experienced a major bleed. Serum anti-Xa levels were significantly higher in patients who experienced major bleeds compared with patients who did not (0.45 ± 0.16 IU/mL vs. 0.28 ± 0.09 IU/mL, P = 0.003). Patients with a supraprophylactic anti-Xa level (>0.5 IU/mL) were more likely to experience a major bleed (P = 0.005). One VTE event occurred: the patient experienced a pulmonary embolism with anti-Xa level at goal. CONCLUSIONS: Anti-Xa-guided enoxaparin dosing for VTE prophylaxis in neurosurgical patients may help prevent major bleeding. These data suggest that a higher anti-Xa level may predispose patients to major bleeding. Further evaluation is needed to identify the goal anti-Xa level for VTE prophylaxis in this population.


Subject(s)
Enoxaparin/blood , Factor Xa Inhibitors/blood , Hemorrhage/blood , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/trends , Adult , Aged , Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Anticoagulants/blood , Drug Monitoring/methods , Enoxaparin/administration & dosage , Enoxaparin/adverse effects , Factor Xa Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Factor Xa Inhibitors/adverse effects , Female , Hemorrhage/prevention & control , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity, Morbid/blood , Obesity, Morbid/surgery , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Retrospective Studies , Sex Factors , Venous Thromboembolism/blood , Venous Thromboembolism/prevention & control
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 ; 155: e576-e587, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386731

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) crisis led to many restrictions in daily life and protective health care actions in all hospitals to ensure basic medical supply. This questionnaire-based study among spinal surgeons in central Europe was generated to investigate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and consecutively the differences in restrictions in spinal surgery units. METHODS: An online survey consisting of 32 questions on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related restrictions on spinal surgery units was created. Surgical fellows and consultants from neurosurgical, orthopedic, and trauma departments were included in our questionnaire-based study with the help of Austrian, German, and Swiss scientific societies. RESULTS: In a total of 406 completed questionnaires, most participants reported increased preventive measurements at daily clinical work (split-team work schedule [44%], cancellation of elective and/or semielective surgeries [91%]), reduced occurrence of emergencies (91%), decreased outpatient work (45%) with increased telemedical care (73%) and a reduced availability of medical equipment (75%) as well as medical staff (30%). Although most physicians considered the political restrictive decisions to be not suitable, most considered the medical measures to be appropriate. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in comparable restrictive measures for spinal surgical departments in central Europe. Elective surgical interventions were reduced, providing additional resources reserved for severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2-positive patients. Although similar restrictions were introduced in most participants' departments, the supply of personal protective equipment and the outpatient care remained insufficient and should be re-evaluated intensively for future global health care crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Spinal Diseases/epidemiology , Spinal Diseases/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Ambulatory Care/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
4.
World Neurosurg ; 155: e142-e149, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease identified in 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic changed neurosurgery protocols to provide ongoing care for patients while ensuring the safety of health care workers. In Brazil, the rapid spread of the disease led to new challenges in the health system. Neurooncology practice was one of the most affected by the pandemic due to restricted elective procedures and new triage protocols. We aim to characterize the impact of the pandemic on neurosurgery in Brazil. METHODS: We analyzed 112 different types of neurosurgical procedures, with special detail in 11 neurooncology procedures, listed in the Brazilian Hospital Information System records in the DATASUS database between February and July 2019 and the same period in 2020. Linear regression and paired t-test analyses were performed and considered statistically significant at P < 0.05. RESULTS: There was an overall decrease of 21.5% (28,858 cases) in all neurosurgical procedures, impacting patients needing elective procedures (-42.46%) more than emergency surgery (-5.93%). Neurooncology procedures decreased by 14.89%. Nonetheless, the mortality rate during hospitalization increased by 21.26%. Linear regression analysis in hospitalizations (Slope = 0.9912 ± 0.07431; CI [95%] = 0.8231-1.159) and total cost (Slope = 1.03 ± 0.03501; CI [95%] = 0.9511-1.109) in the 11 different types of neurooncology procedures showed a P < 0.0001. The mean cost per type of procedure showed an 11.59% increase (P = 0.0172) between 2019 and 2020. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has increased mortality, decreased hospitalizations, and therefore decreased overall costs, despite increased costs per procedure for a variety of neurosurgical procedures. Our study serves as a stark example of the effect of the pandemic on neurosurgical care in settings of limited resources and access to care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Developing Countries , Hospital Information Systems/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Developing Countries/economics , Health Personnel/economics , Health Personnel/trends , Hospital Information Systems/economics , Humans , Neurosurgical Procedures/economics , Personal Protective Equipment/economics , Personal Protective Equipment/trends
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 ; 151: e523-e532, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297238

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In times of health resource reallocation, capacities must remain able to meet a continued demand for essential, nonambulatory neurosurgical acute care. This study sought to characterize the demand for and provision of neurosurgical acute care during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: This single-center cross-sectional observational analysis compared nonambulatory neurosurgical consult encounters during the peri-surge period (March 9 to May 31, 2020) with those during an analogous period in 2019. Outcomes included consult volume, distribution of problem types, disease severity, and rate of acute operative intervention. RESULTS: A total of 1494 neurosurgical consults were analyzed. Amidst the pandemic surge, 583 consults were seen, which was 6.4 standard deviations below the mean among analogous 2016-2019 periods (mean 873; standard deviation 45, P = 0.001). Between 2019 and 2020, the proportion of degenerative spine consults decreased in favor of spinal trauma (25.6% vs. 34% and 51.9% vs. 41.4%, P = 0.088). Among aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage cases, poor-grade (Hunt and Hess grades 4-5) presentations were more common (30% vs. 14.8%, P = 0.086). A greater proportion of pandemic era consults resulted in acute operative management, with an unchanged absolute frequency of acutely operative consults (123/583 [21.1%] vs. 120/911 [13.2%], P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Neurosurgical consult volume during the pandemic surge hit a 5-year institutional low. Amidst vast reallocation of health care resources, demand for high-acuity nonambulatory neurosurgical care continued and proportionally increased for greater-acuity pathologies. In our continued current pandemic as well as any future situations of mass health resource reallocation, neurosurgical acute care capacities must be preserved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Resources/trends , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Patient Acuity , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/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.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 6171, 2021 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1139756

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Neurosurgical Procedures/mortality , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Europe , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Neurosurgery/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
9.
J Clin Neurosci ; 87: 50-54, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has greatly impacted surgical specialities throughout the globe leading to a decrease in hospital admissions and referrals. Neurosurgery has seen a great decline in cases including head trauma leading to a negative impact on the development of neurosurgical trainees. The main objective of this study is to the identify changes in neurosurgical referrals, admissions and management during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also aim to assess how current practise could be adapted to help manage future pandemic peaks. METHODS: Data was collected for the first 31 days of lockdown during 2020 (23rd March - 22nd April) and compared to the same time period in the years 2016-2019. We assessed the number of referrals, admissions and clinical information of patients during this period with a key emphasis on head trauma. RESULTS: Neurosurgical head injury referrals and admissions reduced by 57.5% and 48.3% respectively during the first 31 days of lockdown when compared to the mean figures for the same period in the previous 4 years. This was also seen with head trauma with a 21.9% decline in referrals and 39.1% reduction in admissions for the period of interest. A significant decrease in length of stay (P < 0.001) was seen between 2020 and the years 2017-19. CONCLUSION: The impact of COVID-19 makes it imperative that we plan for future pandemics to lessen the impact on neurosurgery. Special considerations need to be taken so that trainees are sufficiently prepared for completion of training whilst still priotising patient safety and providing high quality care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Craniocerebral Trauma/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Referral and Consultation/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Craniocerebral Trauma/surgery , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
10.
World Neurosurg ; 148: e689-e694, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062634

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cessation of elective procedures and lower bed capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a rise in the waiting lists for surgery, but it is unclear if workload has recovered sufficiently to account for this backlog. We describe the change in neurosurgical workload at a tertiary neurosciences center in the United Kingdom after the first pandemic wave in comparison with the months before and during the first wave. METHODS: A retrospective review of theatre records and electronic referrals-between December 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020-was performed. The months of December 2019-February 2020 were designated as pre-COVID months and March-May 2020 were designated as COVID months. The time period from June to August 2020 was designated as post-wave months. Statistical analyses were performed on SPSS v22 (IBM). RESULTS: Referrals declined from 572 in January to a nadir of 352 in April before a steady rise to August. Referral volumes for degenerative spinal disease and traumatic brain injuries showed a statistically significant change during the year. On average, 212 procedures per month were performed in the pre-COVID months, 167 procedures per month during COVID months, and 232 procedures per month in the post-wave months. The number of patients on the waiting list for scheduled operations rose from March (785 patients) onward to a peak of 997 patients in July. CONCLUSIONS: In the aftermath of COVID-19, higher referral volumes and operative procedures were apparent in the post-wave months as services returned to normal. With the expectation of a second wave of infections, it is unclear whether this will be sustainable.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Workload , Brain Injuries, Traumatic/surgery , Brain Neoplasms/surgery , Female , Hemorrhagic Stroke/surgery , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/surgery , Male , Middle Aged , Referral and Consultation/trends , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spinal Diseases/surgery , Spinal Neoplasms/surgery , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/surgery , Tertiary Care Centers , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Waiting Lists
11.
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
12.
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
13.
World Neurosurg ; 148: e197-e208, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989401

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been at its peak for the past 8 months and has affected more than 215 countries around the world. India is now the second most-affected nation with more than 48,000,000 cases and 79,000 deaths. Despite this, and the fact that it is a lower-middle-income nation, the number of deaths is almost one third that of the United States and one half that of Brazil. However, there has been no experience published from non-COVID-19-designated hospitals, where the aim is to manage noninfected cases with neurosurgical ailments while keeping the number of infected cases to a minimum. METHODS: We analyzed the number of neurosurgical cases (nontrauma) done in the past 5 months (March-July 2020) in our institute, which is the largest neurosurgical center by volume in southern India, and compared the same to the concurrent 5 months in 2019 and 5 months preceding the pandemic. We also reviewed the total number of cases infected with COVID-19 managed during this time. RESULTS: We operated a total of 630 cases (nontrauma) in these 5 months and had 9 COVID-19 infected cases operated during this time. There was a 57% (P = 0.002) reduction in the number of cases operated as compared with the same 5 months in the preceding year. We employed a dual strategy of rapid antigen testing and surgery for cases needing emergency intervention and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test for elective cases. The hospital was divided into 3 zones (red, orange, and green) depending on infectivity level with minimal interaction. Separate teams were designated for each zone, and thus we were able to effectively manage even infected cases despite the absence of pulmonology/medical specialists. CONCLUSIONS: We present a patient management protocol for non-COVID-19-designated hospitals in high-volume centers with the constraints of a lower-middle-income nation and demonstrate its effectiveness. Strict zoning targeted testing and effective triage can help in management during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Telemedicine/trends , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care/trends , Aneurysm, Ruptured/surgery , Brain Neoplasms/surgery , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cerebrovascular Disorders/surgery , Humans , India/epidemiology , Infection Control , Intracranial Aneurysm/surgery , Neural Tube Defects/surgery , Patient Selection , Personal Protective Equipment , Radiosurgery , SARS-CoV-2 , Spinal Diseases , Spinal Injuries
14.
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
15.
Neurosurg Focus ; 49(6): E15, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954715

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, neurosurgeons all around the globe continue to operate in emergency cases using new self-protective measures. Personal protective equipment (PPE) use is recommended in all surgeries. The authors have experienced varying degrees of field of view (FOV) loss under the surgical microscope with different PPE. Herein, they aimed to investigate the effects of different PPE on FOV while using the surgical microscope. METHODS: Fifteen neurosurgeons and neurosurgery residents participated in this study. Three kinds of PPE (safety spectacles, blast goggles, and face shields) were tested while using a surgical microscope. FOV was measured using a 12 × 12-cm checkered sheet of paper on which every square had an area of 25 mm2 under the microscope. The surgical microscope was positioned perpendicular to the test paper, and the zoom was fixed. Each participant marked on the test sheet the peripheral borders of their FOV while using different PPE and without wearing any PPE. A one-way repeated-measures ANOVA was performed to determine if there was a significant difference in FOV values with the different PPE. RESULTS: FOV was significantly different between each PPE (F[3, 42] = 6339.845, p < 0.0005). Post hoc analysis revealed a significant decrease in the FOV from the naked eye (9305.33 ± 406.1 mm2) to blast goggles (2501.91 ± 176.5 mm2) and face shields (92.33 ± 6.4 mm2). There were no significant FOV changes with the safety spectacles (9267.45 ± 410.5 mm2). CONCLUSIONS: While operating under a surgical microscope safety spectacles provide favorable FOVs. Face shields increase the eye piece-pupil distance, which causes a severe reduction in FOV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Microsurgery/trends , Neurosurgeons/trends , Neurosurgical Procedures/trends , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Visual Fields , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Microscopy/instrumentation , Microscopy/trends , Microsurgery/instrumentation , Neurosurgical Procedures/instrumentation , Personal Protective Equipment/adverse effects , Visual Fields/physiology
16.
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
17.
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
18.
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
19.
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
20.
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
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