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Reg Anesth Pain Med ; 46(6): 478-481, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148173


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The role of telemedicine in the evaluation and treatment of patients with spinal disorders is rapidly expanding, brought on largely by the COVID-19 pandemic. Within this context, the ability of pain specialists to accurately diagnose and plan appropriate interventional spine procedures based entirely on telemedicine visits, without an in-person evaluation, remains to be established. In this study, our primary objective was to assess the relevance of telemedicine to interventional spine procedure planning by determining whether procedure plans established solely from virtual visits changed following in-person evaluation. METHODS: We reviewed virtual and in-person clinical encounters from our academic health system's 10 interventional spine specialists. We included patients who were seen exclusively via telemedicine encounters and indicated for an interventional procedure with documented procedural plans. Virtual plans were then compared with the actual procedures performed following in-person evaluation. Demographic data as well as the type and extent of physical examination performed by the interventional spine specialist were also recorded. RESULTS: Of the 87 new patients included, the mean age was 60 years (SE 1.4 years) and the preprocedural plan established by telemedicine, primarily videoconferencing, did not change for 76 individuals (87%; 95% CI 0.79 to 0.94) following in-person evaluation. Based on the size of our sample, interventional procedures indicated solely during telemedicine encounters may be accurate in 79%-94% of cases in the broader population. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that telemedicine evaluations are a generally accurate means of preprocedural assessment and development of interventional spine procedure plans. These findings clearly demonstrate the capabilities of telemedicine for evaluating spine patients and planning interventional spine procedures.

COVID-19 , Preoperative Care/methods , Spinal Diseases/surgery , Spine/surgery , Telemedicine , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
Clin Nucl Med ; 45(7): 531-533, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-543334


Some patients undergoing routine SPECT/CT and PET/CT examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic may incidentally reveal findings of COVID-19-associated pneumonia (C-19AP) on localizing CT. It is critical for nuclear medicine physicians to develop diagnostic skills for timely recognition of typical findings of C-19AP on a localizing CT. Furthermore, it is our responsibility to know the optimal practices for safely isolating and managing such patients while protecting the staff, other patients at the facility, family and/or friend accompanying the patients, and the public in general from risky exposure to COVID-19 sources. We offer several steps following an encounter suspicious of C-19AP.

Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia/diagnostic imaging , Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography Computed Tomography/methods , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Diagnosis, Differential , Disease Management , Humans , Incidental Findings , Pandemics , Pneumonia/etiology , Pneumonia/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography Computed Tomography/standards , Spine/diagnostic imaging