Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic: A developing country perspective

Citation:
Soliman, M. A. R., M. Elbaroody, A. K. ElSamman, M. I. Refaat, E. Abd-Haleem, W. Elhalaby, H. Gouda, amr safwat, M. elShazly, H. Lasheen, et al., "Endoscopic endonasal skull base surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic: A developing country perspective", Surgical neurology international, vol. 11: Scientific Scholar, pp. 310 - 310, 2020/09/25.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Although primarily a respiratory disorder, the coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed almost all aspects of health-care delivery. Emergency procedures are likely continuing in most countries, however, some of them raises certain concerns to the surgeons such as the endoscopic endonasal skull base surgeries. The aim of this study is to present the current situation from a developing country perspective in dealing with such cases at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional analytical survey was distributed among neurosurgeons who performed emergency surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic in Cairo, Egypt, between May 8, 2020, and June 7, 2020. The survey entailed patients' information (demographics, preoperative screening, and postoperative COVID-19 symptoms), surgical team information (demographics and postoperative COVID-19 symptoms), and operative information (personal protective equipment [PPE] utilization and basal craniectomy). RESULTS: Our survey was completed on June 7, 2020 (16 completed, 100% response rate). The patients were screened for COVID-19 preoperatively through complete blood cell (CBC) (100%), computed tomography (CT) chest (68.8%), chest examination (50%), C-reactive protein (CRP) (50%), and serological testing (6.3%). Only 18.8% of the surgical team utilized N95 mask and goggles, 12.5% utilized face shield, and none used PAPRs. Regarding the basal craniectomy, 81.3% used Kerrison Rongeur and chisel, 25% used a high-speed drill, and 6.3% used a mucosal shaver. None of the patients developed any COVID-19 symptoms during the first 3 weeks postsurgery and one of the surgeons developed high fever with negative nasopharyngeal swabs. CONCLUSION: In developing countries with limited resources, preoperative screening using chest examination, CBC, and CT chest might be sufficient to replace Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Developing countries require adequate support with screening tests, PPE, and critical care equipment such as ventilators.

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