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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2020 August;64(4):383-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.20.04994-2


language: English

Neurosurgical activity during COVID-19 pandemic: an experts’ opinion from China, South Korea, Italy, the USA, Colombia, and the UK

Marco M. FONTANELLA 1, Giorgio SARACENO 1 , Ting LEI 2, Joshua B. BEDERSON 3, Namkyu YOU 4, Andres M. RUBIANO 5, 6, Peter HUTCHINSON 7, Frédérique WIEMEIJER-TIMMER 8, Franco SERVADEI 9, 10

1 Unit of Neurosurgery, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties, Radiological Sciences and Public Health, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; 2 Neurosurgical Department, Tongji Hospital, Wuhan, China; 3 Department of Neurosurgery, The Mount Sinai Health System, New York, NY, USA; 4 Department of Neurosurgery, Ajou University College of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea; 5 Neuroscience Institute, INUB-MEDITECH Research Group, El Bosque University, Bogota, Colombia; 6 Neurological Surgery Service, Valle Salud Clinic, Cali, Colombia; 7 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Cambridge, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Cambridge, UK; 8 Global Neuro Foundation, Davos, Switzerland; 9 Humanitas Clinical and Research Center - IRCCS, Milan, Italy; 10 Department of Biomedical Science, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy

BACKGROUND: More than a million and a half people are infected worldwide with more than 90,000 casualties. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is radically altering both socio-economic and health care scenarios.
METHODS: On April 4th, 2020, at 13:30 CET, a webinar was broadcasted, organized by Global Neuro and supported by WFNS. Expert neurosurgeons from six different countries (China, Italy, South Korea, the USA, Colombia, and the UK) reported on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health care systems and neurosurgical activity.
RESULTS: The first part focused on the epidemiology until that date. The USA were the most affected State with 450,000 cases, followed by Italy (140,000 cases and 19,000 casualties), China (83,305 cases and 3345 have died), South Korea (10,156 cases with 177 casualties), the UK (38,168 cases and 3605 deaths) and Colombia (1267 cases and 25 deaths). The second part concerned Institution and staff reorganization. In every country all surgical plans have been modified. The third part was about neurosurgical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth and last part touched upon how to perform safe surgery and re-start after the pandemic.
CONCLUSIONS: In general, the pandemic scenario was presented as a thought-provoking challenge in all countries which requires tireless efforts for both maintaining emergency and elective neurosurgical procedures.

KEY WORDS: Coronavirus; COVID-19; Neurosurgery; Pandemics

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