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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 271-275

Strategies to offer uninterrupted neurosurgical care at a tertiary center in Makka amid COVID-19 pandemic

Department of Neurosurgery, King Abdullah Medical City, Makka, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed A Azab
Department of Neurosurgery, King Abdullah Medical Center, Makka 24246
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_324_20

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Background: Globally, there is a shooting pandemic that affected many healthcare systems. Healthcare facilities had to set up logistics to avoid being drained while facing a catastrophic health problem. There are currently no available vaccines or perfect therapies and also no certified immunity against that disease. Therefore, it is probable that healthcare systems will face it for an exceptionally long period. That will have a grave effect on the strategy of daily practice of different specialties' services at healthcare centers. Impossible decisions in usual workdays are now forcibly adopted for the sake of patients, care providers, and health resources. Methods: We try in a simple way to share tertiary center expertise in managing neurosurgical cases amid a dreadful healthcare crisis. Healthcare workers' safety and patient safety were typical priorities for neurosurgical service at King Abdullah Medical City. We expose the lines of management, triaging cases, the methods of handling confirmed and suspected neurosurgical patients, and strategies for discharging and following up patients. We identified hospital admission and discharge records starting from March 2020 till July to track the neurosurgical case burden and the state of service offered and the rate of infection among healthcare workers who participated in surgeries. Results: At the peak time of the COVID-19 pandemic in Makka starting from March till July, we have admitted 250 neurosurgical patients. About 210 (84%) of them did surgeries according to the triaging protocol described in the article. About 155 (62%) of those who did surgeries were urgent and the rest were borderline or semi-urgent. About 10 (4%) were severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positive and three of them died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome. Only two mortality cases were reported due to a neurological complication and not related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The rest of the cases (98%) were discharged for follow-up without grave complications after they were offered the service. No neurosurgeons or anesthesia staff involved in offering the service were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Successful uninterrupted neurosurgical care was available for patients during that health crisis without any healthcare worker being infected. Conclusion: Following the suggested strategies, any center can provide the healthcare service amid any pandemic happening now or in the future without dismantling the normal health system, especially for life-saving cases in a critical specialty as neurosurgery.

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