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Pandemic Archives - Neurosurgery Blog

Congressional Docs Urge Americans to Take Action and Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

By Congress, COVID-19, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

Last year, the entire world was forced to face the COVID-19 pandemic head on. And now, we — the American people — have the opportunity to achieve peace of mind and live life as free as before by choosing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Concerned for the health and safety of our nation, I recently joined some of my fellow colleagues in Congress — each of us are also health care professionals — in a public service announcement encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. Very soon we will have more COVID-19 vaccines than we have people willing to take it. In fact, almost half of adults in my home state of Kansas are uncertain about getting vaccinated. Read More

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

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

Providing Comfort and Mercy: The U.S. Military’s COVID-19 Response Effort

By COVID-19, Guest Post, Health, Military Faces of NeurosurgeryNo Comments

Editor’s Note: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, neurosurgeons have helped bring aid and comfort to neurosurgical patients and those suffering from the novel coronavirus. Today, on Memorial Day, we wish to salute the efforts of the men and women serving in our U.S. Military, who, too, have provided comfort and mercy during this national emergency. On this day and always, you have our unwavering gratitude for your dedication and service.

I’ve been asked to comment about my experience mobilized in the military reserve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I do so without named authorship secondary to the fact that the mission is ongoing, and the focus should be on a genuinely profound group effort. Read More

Life as a Medical Student During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused sweeping systemic changes to the landscape of medicine and society as a whole in the few short months since the virus arose. The pandemic has impacted all medical specialties, and those still in training have experienced significant disruptions to their education. Medical schools were quick to respond to the spread of the virus to keep medical students safe. The first warnings from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD) administration came in early March — students were informed that those who intended to travel during spring break might be required to quarantine upon their return. At the time, the magnitude of the impending pandemic was unknown, and social distancing measures were still on the horizon. Read More

COVID-19 and Neurosurgical Training: Impact on the Next Generation of Neurosurgeons (Part II)

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, GME, Guest PostNo Comments

What started as a brief segment on the evening news has consumed our daily lives as COVID-19 spreads across the globe. As health care facilities became inundated with critically ill patients, the nation’s intensivists, internists, emergency medicine physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists took to the front lines to fight this invisible enemy. With years of education behind us and at the cusp of the most significant health crisis in recent history, many residents are apprehensive of the future. What would be our role? Would we have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical care supplies to care for the sick? How can we keep ourselves and families safe? Read More

COVID-19 and Neurosurgical Training: Impact on the Next Generation of Neurosurgeons (Part I)

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

In early March, our neurosurgery team at Mount Sinai Medical Center noticed a handful of COVID-19 cases admitted to our medical intensive care unit (MICU), which is just down the hall from the neurosurgical intensive care unit (ICU). The daily news from Asia and Europe was certainly not encouraging, but we proceeded with our normal routine — morning rounds, surgery and academic conference. Read More

Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic and in a Changing Health Care System

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

The COVID-19 crisis has produced seismic changes in the practice of neurosurgery. For weeks elective surgeries have been eliminated and shelter in place orders implemented. Patients still develop herniated discs with neurologic deficits, present with brain tumors and need neurosurgical treatment. Telemedicine has provided one option for remaining connected to our established patients and caring for new patients during the pandemic. Read More

Neurosurgery, COVID-19 and Health Disparities: Perspectives from a Minority Provider

By COVID-19, Faces of Neurosurgery, Guest Post, HealthNo Comments

COVID-19 has had a tremendous global impact and has taken the lives of many people. It has halted economies and disrupted our educational system. It has strained health care resources and has expedited health policy reforms. One particular impact of COVID-19 that troubles me as a minority provider is the disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups. COVID-19 has further illuminated existing health disparities in our society. Read More