Comparison of outcomes of neurosurgical operations performed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a matched cohort study.

Toman, Emma, Soon, Wai Cheong, Thanabalasundaram, Gopiga, Burns, Daniel S, Petrik, Vladimir, Watts, Colin, Wykes, Victoria and White, Anwen (2021) Comparison of outcomes of neurosurgical operations performed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a matched cohort study. BMJ open, 11 (2). e047063. ISSN 2044-6055. This article is available to all UHB staff and students via ASK Discovery tool http://tinyurl.com/z795c8c by using their UHB Athens login IDs

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine how the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic affected outcomes for all operatively managed neurosurgical patients, not only those positive for SARS-CoV-2.

DESIGN

Matched cohort (pairwise method).

SETTING

A single tertiary neurosurgical referral centre at a large UK Major Trauma Centre.

PARTICIPANTS

During the first COVID-19 wave, 231 neurosurgical cases were performed. These cases were matched to cases from 2019. Cases were matched for age (±10 years), primary pathology and surgical procedure. Cases were excluded from analysis if either the age could not be matched to within 10 years, or the primary pathology or procedure was too unique. After exclusions, 191 cases were included in final analysis.

OUTCOME MEASURES

Primary outcomes were 30-day mortality and postoperative pulmonary complications. Secondary outcomes included Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) on discharge, length of stay (LoS), operative and anaesthetic times and grade of primary surgeon. An exploratory outcome was the SARS-CoV-2 status of patients.

RESULTS

There was no significant difference between the pandemic and matched cohorts in 30-day mortality, pulmonary complications, discharge GOS, LoS, operative or anaesthetic times. There was a significant difference in the variation of grade of primary surgeon. Only 2.2% (n=5) of patients had a SARS-CoV-2 positive swab.

CONCLUSION

During the first UK wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mortality, morbidity and functional outcomes of operatively managed neurosurgical patients at University Hospitals Birmingham were not significantly affected compared with normal practice. The grade of primary surgeon was significantly more senior and adds to the growing body of evidence that demonstrates how the pandemic has negatively impacted UK surgical training. Mixing COVID-19 positive, unknown and negative cases did not significantly impact on outcomes and indicates that further research is required to support the implementation of evidence-based surgical pathways, such as COVID-light sites, throughout the next stage of the pandemic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available to all UHB staff and students via ASK Discovery tool http://tinyurl.com/z795c8c by using their UHB Athens login IDs
Subjects: QZ Pathology. Oncology
WC Communicabable diseases
WC Communicabable diseases > WC680 Tropical medicine
WL Nervous system. Neurology
WO Surgery
WT Geriatrics. Elderly care
Divisions: Emergency Services > Neurology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jamie Edgar
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021 15:32
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2021 15:32
URI: http://www.repository.uhblibrary.co.uk/id/eprint/4070

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