Lasting Change: Assessing the Potential Long Term Impact of COVID-19

By COVID-19, HealthNo Comments

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

The economic, medical, political and psychological tsunami unleashed by the COVID-19 virus is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime. The traumatic disruption of 9-11 was limited in comparison to our current crisis. While impossible to include up to the minute statistics, already more than 15 million cases have been confirmed with at least 620,000 deaths, and U.S. unemployment is approximately 11%. Is it possible that any good will come of these months of tragedy and lock-down? What do we know about the immediate and longer-term consequences on us as humans, on the health care community and neurosurgery? I have been given the monumental task of trying to peer into that future as the Neurosurgery Blog’s focus on COVID-19 draws to a close. Read More

Aerosolization, Endonasal Surgery and the Neurosurgeon

By COVID-19, HealthNo Comments

Neurosurgeons never stop learning. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, previously obscure terms such as airflow and aerosolization — the dispersal of a substance such as medicine or viral particles in the form of an aerosol — have entered our regular lexicon. We can now readily identify which of our operating rooms has the highest airflow — usually the smallest room — and the standard for the minimum number of air exchanges per hour, which is at least 15. Read More

AANS Neurosurgeon Spotlight: The State of Neurosurgical Education

By AANS Spotlight, Burnout, COVID-19, GMENo Comments

Recent global circumstances have had considerable effects on neurosurgery. In the latest articles from AANS Neurosurgeon, the official socioeconomic publication of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), authors discuss the state of neurosurgical education. Practices have taken steps to not only adapt to a multitude of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but to thrive among them, while helping their patients do the same. Browse the Education issue for a scientific, artistic and realistic view from those tasked with providing and navigating valuable educational experiences during a time when there is no such thing as “normal.” Read More

Neurosurgeons Launch Campaign to Protect Patient Access to Care

By Access to Care, COVID-19, Guest Post, Health Reform, MedicareNo Comments

Our health care system is under extraordinary pressure. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an uncertain financial future for health care professionals. And now, coming on the heels of this devastating pandemic, Medicare is poised to implement drastic cuts. These cuts threaten patients’ access to timely surgical care and may impact the quality of life for the people neurosurgeons care for every day. To help policymakers and the public understand how these payment cuts will hurt patients and their neurosurgical care teams, on June 18, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), along with 10 other national surgical associations, officially launched the Surgical Care Coalition (SCC). Read More

Reflecting on COVID19, the Death of George Floyd and the Need for Change

By COVID-19, Equity, Social JusticeNo Comments

“I want to touch the world.”
George Perry Floyd, Jr.

We are living in trying and turbulent times in our country. A global pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people across America and has threatened to overwhelm our health care systems in some of the worst affected areas. On top of this health crisis, we are now facing the greatest civil unrest our country has experienced in over 50 years in response to a recent series of tragic deaths of black men and women — the cataclysmic event being the deplorable death of George P. Floyd, Jr. while in police custody. Read More

COVID-19 and Prevalence of Stroke: Making Sense of the Data

By COVID-19, Health, StrokeNo Comments

The current COVID-19 pandemic has been a singular event with far-reaching societal and medical ramifications. The enormity of the crisis and the alacrity of its spread across the globe has led to a rapidly evolving understanding of the disease. Current knowledge of the pandemic and the effect of the virus on the human body may become obsolete by week’s end. The COVID-19 crisis’s impact on the care of stroke patients is emblematic of these issues. Over the past few months, several data points have emerged that have been interpreted in divergent ways. Read More

Stroke Month: Continued Progress in Research and Patient Care

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthOne Comment

On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds. Acute ischemic stroke remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. and around the world. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that in 2016 there were 5.5 million deaths attributable to cerebrovascular disease worldwide — 2.7 million of those deaths were from ischemic stroke. May is National Stroke Awareness Month and provides the opportunity to remember patients who are survivors of this dreaded disease and highlight the physicians and researchers at the forefront of progress to improve care and outcomes in stroke. Read More