The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted healthcare systems globally. The need of the hour is the development of effective strategies for protecting the lives of healthcare providers (HCPs) and judicious triage for optimal utilization of human and hospital resources. During this pandemic, neurosurgery, like other specialties, must transform, innovate, and adopt new guidelines and safety protocols for reducing the risk of cross-infection of HCPs without compromising patient care. In this article, the authors discuss the current neurosurgical practice guidelines at a high-volume tertiary care referral hospital in India and compare them with international guidelines and global consensus for neurosurgery practice in the COVID-19 era. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the modifications incorporated into their clinical practice, including those for stratification of neurosurgical cases, patient triaging based on COVID-19 testing, optimal manpower management, infrastructure reorganization, evolving modules for resident training, and innovations in operating guidelines. The authors recommend the use of their blueprint for stratification of neurosurgical cases, including their protocol for algorithmic patient triage and management and their template for manpower allocation to COVID-19 duty, as a replicable model for efficient healthcare delivery.
Amol Raheja, Nitish Agarwal, Sarita Mohapatra, Vivek Tandon, Sachin Anil Borkar, P. Sarat Chandra, Shashank S. Kale, and Ashish Suri
Ravi Sharma, Revanth Goda, Sachin Anil Borkar, Varidh Katiyar, Samagra Agarwal, Amandeep Kumar, Sarita Mohapatra, Arti Kapil, Ashish Suri, and Shashank S. Kale
The authors aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of Acinetobacter isolates responsible for nosocomial meningitis/ventriculitis in the neurosurgical ICU. The authors also sought to identify the risk factors for mortality following Acinetobacter meningitis/ventriculitis.
This was a retrospective study of 72 patients admitted to the neurosurgical ICU between January 2014 and December 2018 with clinical and microbiological diagnosis of nosocomial postneurosurgical Acinetobacter baumanii meningitis/ventriculitis. Electronic medical data on clinical characteristics, underlying pathology, CSF cytology, antibiotic susceptibilities, and mortality were recorded. To evaluate the outcome following nosocomial postneurosurgical Acinetobacter meningitis/ventriculitis, patients were followed up until discharge or death in the hospital. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to compute factors affecting survival.
The study population was divided into two groups depending on the final outcome of whether the patient died or survived. Forty-three patients (59.7%) were included in the survivor group and 29 patients (40.3%) were included in the nonsurvivor group. Total in-hospital mortality due to Acinetobacter meningitis/ventriculitis was 40.3% (29 cases), with a 14-day mortality of 15.3% and a 30-day mortality of 25%. The 43 (59.7%) patients who survived had a mean length of hospital stay of 44 ± 4 days with a median Glasgow Outcome Scale–Extended score at discharge of 6. On univariate analysis, age > 40 years (p = 0.078), admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score ≤ 8 (p = 0.003), presence of septic shock (p = 0.011), presence of external ventricular drain (EVD) (p = 0.03), CSF white blood cell (WBC) count > 200 cells/mm3 (p = 0.084), and comorbidities (diabetes, p = 0.036; hypertension, p = 0.01) were associated with poor outcome. Carbapenem resistance was not a risk factor for mortality. According to a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, age cutoff of 40 years (p = 0.016, HR 3.21), GCS score cutoff of 8 (p = 0.006, HR 0.29), CSF WBC count > 200 cells/mm3 (p = 0.01, HR 2.76), presence of EVD (p = 0.001, HR 5.42), and comorbidities (p = 0.017, HR 2.8) were found to be significant risk factors for mortality.
This study is the largest case series reported to date of postneurosurgical Acinetobacter meningitis/ventriculitis. In-hospital mortality due to Acinetobacter meningitis/ventriculitis was high. Age older than 40 years, GCS score less than 8, presence of EVD, raised CSF WBC count, and presence of comorbidities were risk factors for mortality.