Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Neurosurgical Practice in a Tertiary Care Center in India.

Research paper by Rahul R Singh, Anurag A Sahu, Kulwant K Singh, Ravi Shankar RS Prasad, Nityanand N Pandey, Ramit Chandra RC Singh

Indexed on: 04 Feb '21Published on: 04 Feb '21Published in: Journal of neurosciences in rural practice


 The aim of the study is to determine the magnitude of repercussions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on neurosurgical specialty and formulate a management approach.  This combined retrospective and prospective study was done in neurosurgical specialty of IMS-BHU, Varanasi, India, a tertiary care center, between January 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Analysis of impact on neurosurgical emergency and electives was done over before pandemic, during lockdown 1 and 2 and during lockdown 3 and 4 timelines. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on psychology of neurosurgical team (50 members) and on patient party (88) were also evaluated. Virtual learning and webinars as a substitute to residential neurosurgical training were analyzed by a questionnaire given to 13 neurosurgeons of our department.  Ordinary one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance) and unpaired -test were used according to data analyzed. < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. GraphPad Prism software was used for this analysis.  On an average 8.22 admissions per day were done in neurosurgical emergency before pandemic. After lockdown these figures reduced to 3.2 admissions per day during lockdown 1 and 2 and to 5.36 admissions per day during lockdown 3 and 4. There was significant reduction in neurotrauma admission rate during lockdown ( < 0.0001) at our center. There was 76% reduction in emergency neurosurgical operated cases during pandemic. There was significant reduction in outpatient department (OPD) attendance per day, OPD admissions per day ( < 0.0001), and total elective surgeries ( < 0.0001) during lockdown. Of 50 neurosurgical team members (neurosurgeons, nursing, and ground staff) interviewed, 90% of them had the fear of contacting the COVID-19 disease, fear of well-being of family and children, and difficulty in transport. Three out of 13 neurosurgeons (23.1%) agreed on change in practice based on what they learned from virtual teaching and webinars and only two of them (15.4%) accepted improvement of skills based on virtual learning.  The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a significant impact on health care systems worldwide. For conserving resources elective surgical procedures should be limited. This pandemic has a negative impact on neurosurgical resident training program and psychology of both neurosurgical unit and patients. Association for Helping Neurosurgical Sick People. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).