Neurosurgical service during COVID-19 pandemics in Ljubljana, Slovenia - lessons learned
Keywords:COVID-19, neurosurgery, patient management, antivirus protocol, pandemic measures, Ljubljana
Introduction: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became an important and urgent threat to global health. In Slovenia, the COVID-19 struck the health system immensely. Neurosurgery experienced difficulties, not only in regular, elective surgeries, but also during emergency situations.
Methods: In the article, we analyse and compare the number of elective and emergency neurosurgical procedures during the time of the pandemic (from March 2018 to February 2020) and describe our protocol in the management of neurosurgical patients in the Medical Centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Results: There were 2597 patients treated surgically, including 1932 emergency patients and 665 emergency patients. Overall, we recorded an 11.2% drop in all neurosurgical procedures in two years after COVID-19 was declared compared to two years before. Elective procedures decreased by 13.9%, mostly on account of spinal pathology procedures (245, 23.5%), functional neurosurgical procedures (37 cases, 24.7%), endonasal endoscopy procedures (11, 12.8%), and brain lesions (31, 4.8%).
Conclusion: COVID-19 had a vast impact on the healthcare system in Slovenia, including on neurosurgery. New and improved strategies to maintain neurosurgical practice during public health emergencies are necessary for the neurosurgical service and healthcare system to run smoothly in the long term and prevent disruptions during future pandemics.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Matic Munda, Tomaz Velnar, Borut Prestor, Tilen Zele, Peter Spazzapan, Bostjan Matos, Natasa Kos, Mitja Benedicic, Arne Jeglic, Igor Tekavcic, Andrej Porcnik, Roman Bosnjak
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