The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the modification of surgical practice worldwide. Medical centers have been adapted to provide an efficient arrangement of their economic and human resources. Although neurosurgeons are not in the first line of management and treatment of COVID-19 patients, they take care of patients with neurological pathology and potential severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Here, the authors describe their institutional actions against the pandemic and compare these actions with those in peer-reviewed publications.
The authors conducted a search using the MEDLINE, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases from the beginning of the pandemic until July 11, 2020, using the following terms: “Neurosurgery,” “COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2,” “reconversion/modification,” “practice,” “academy,” and “teaching.” Then, they created operational guidelines tailored for their institution to maximize resource efficiency and minimize risk for the healthcare personnel.
According to the reviewed literature, the authors defined the following three changes that have had the greatest impact in neurosurgical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic: 1) changes in clinical practices; 2) changes in the medical care setting, including modifications of perioperative care; and 3) changes in the academic teaching methodology.
The Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía “Manuel Velasco Suárez” is one of the major referral centers for treating highly complex neurosurgical pathologies in Mexico. Its clinical and neurosurgical practices have been modified with the implementation of specific interventions against the spread of COVID-19. These practical and simple actions are remarkably relevant in the context of the pandemic and can be adopted and suited by other healthcare centers according to their available resources to better prepare for the next event.