Newswise — Charlottesville, VA (April 24, 2020). The American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group are pleased to announce today’s publication of four editorials on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on neurosurgical practice. This batch of editorials concludes our rapid-response collection on this topic. As of today, the collection boasts 19 papers (an introduction and 18 editorials) published in April in the Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, or Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. All of these articles can be found at https://thejns.org/collection/covid19; they will also be hosted by PubMed Central as part of the Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Initiative.
Here is a glimpse at this week’s editorials:
Drs. Xiaoguang Tong and Yuanfan Yang discuss precautions taken at Huanhu Hospital (Tianjin, China) for performing emergency cerebrovascular procedures in the midst of the pandemic. All patients entering the emergency department were assumed to have COVID-19 until proven otherwise. The hospital rearranged equipment and facilities to isolate patients throughout their treatment, and full personal protective equipment (PPE, including N95 masks, face shield, goggles, and full gown) was worn by all healthcare workers. Extra layers of face protection were worn during emergency intubation. Whenever possible, minimally invasive procedures were performed. Additional steps to protect healthcare workers and patients are also covered in this editorial. The authors state the precautions resulted in no infections among the healthcare workers and patients.
Tong X, Yang Y: Editorial. Lessons learned: special precautions for performing emergency cerebrovascular procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Neurosurgery. https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/2020.4.JNS201018
Drs. Sepideh Amin-Hanjani and coauthors represent multiple academic institutions throughout the US and Canada. Together they weigh in on the overall impact of COVID-19 on neurosurgical practice. In their interim report, the authors discuss conservation of skilled staff, the heightened risk of some neurosurgical approaches, postponement of elective cases, necessity of wearing appropriate PPE, and the need to convert some specialty facilities into treatment sites for COVID-19 patients. The authors also offer an appendix listing resources for neurosurgeons during the pandemic offered by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the American College of Surgeons, and additional societies.
Amin-Hanjani S, Bambakidis NC, Barker FG II, Carter BS, Cockroft KM, Du R, Fraser JF, Hamilton MG, Huang J, Jane JA Jr, Jensen RL, Kaplitt MG, Kaufmann AM, Pilitsis JG, Riina HA, Schulder M, Vogelbaum MA, Yang LJS, Zada G: Editorial. COVID-19 and neurosurgical practice: an interim report. Journal of Neurosurgery. https://thejns.org/doi /10.3171/2020.4.JNS201099
Drs. J. Adair Prall, John D. Davis, and N. Ross Jenkins share their insights on changes in community practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. As independent private practitioners, these authors describe how disorienting it has been to suddenly have “many decisions made for them and [be] required to limit, change, or stop altogether their workflow.” The authors mention new ways of treating patients using phone or video conversations. They also discuss how hospital or ambulatory surgery center administrators may view urgent and elective surgeries differently from surgeons, and how neurosurgeons must advocate for patients whose conditions may not appear urgent but indeed are so. Last, the authors speak to the issue of small business ownership during the pandemic, dealing with a reduced caseload and income while trying to retain skilled employees.
Prall JA, Davis JD, Jenkins NR: Editorial. Community practice in the time of COVID-19. Journal of Neurosurgery. https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/2020.4.JNS201033
A neurosurgical resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Victoria E. Clark describes the experience of being locked out of the lab during the pandemic. Being unable to continue lab benchwork, she evaluates other avenues of research that can be followed by the resident at this time, such as working on bioinformatics-based projects or chart-based/clinical analyses, or focusing on scientific writing, be it journal articles, book chapters, or grant applications. Still, laboratory research is extremely important overall and an integral part of residency training. Dr. Clark offers several suggestions on how labs can be reopened and neurosurgical research can be continued using safe, socially distant methods.
Clark VE: Editorial. Impact of COVID-19 on neurosurgery resident research training. Journal of Neurosurgery. https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/2020.4.JNS201034
Join us in reading the aforementioned articles about neurosurgeons’ experiences and lessons learned thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic. All articles are free to the public and can be accessed by clicking on the links provided.
For 76 years, the Journal of Neurosurgery has been recognized by neurosurgeons and other medical specialists the world over for its authoritative clinical articles, cutting-edge laboratory research papers, renowned case reports, expert technical notes, and more. The Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics focuses on diseases and disorders of the central nervous system and spine in children; the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine focuses on neurosurgical approaches to the treatment of spinal diseases and disorders in adults. Both journals contain a variety of articles, including descriptions of preclinical and clinical research as well as case reports and technical notes. All three peer-reviewed journals are published monthly by the JNS Publishing Group, the scholarly journal division of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Other peer-reviewed journals published by the JNS Publishing Group include Neurosurgical Focus and Neurosurgical Focus: Video. All five journals can be accessed at www.thejns.org.
Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 10,000 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. For more information, visit www.AANS.org.