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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-32

A systematic review on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on neurosurgical practice and Indian Perspective

Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saravanan Sadhasivam
Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_379_20

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Objective: The study objective was to systematically review the impact of the current pandemic on neurosurgical practice and to find out a safe way of practicing neurosurgery amid the highly infectious patients with COVID-19. Materials and Methods: A review of the PubMed and EMBASE databases was performed. The literature was systematically searched using keywords such as “COVID-19” and “Neurosurgery.” Results: Among the 425 records, 128 articles were found to be eligible for analysis. These articles described the perspectives of the neurosurgical departments during the pandemic, departmental models, and organizational schemes for triaging emergent and nonemergent neurosurgical cases for the optimal utilization of limited resources, and solutions to continue academic and research activities. Triaging systems help us to optimally utilize the limited resources available. Guidelines have been developed for safe neurosurgical practice and for the continuation of clinical and academic activities during this pandemic by various national and international neurosurgical societies. Key changes in the telemedicine regulatory guidelines would help us to continue to provide neurosurgical care. Videoconferences, online education programs, and webinars could help us to overcome the disadvantages brought upon the neurosurgical education by the social-distancing norms. Conclusion: In an unprecedented time like this, no single algorithm is going to clear the ethical dilemma faced by us. Individual patient triage is a way for maintaining our ethical practice and at the same time, for efficiently utilizing the limited resources. As the pandemic progresses, new guidelines and protocols will continue to evolve for better neurosurgical practice.

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