The study concluded that the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 had resulted in a significant change in the pattern of neurosurgical procedures, with acute cases dominating over chronic benign disorders.(HT FILE PHOTO)
The study concluded that the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 had resulted in a significant change in the pattern of neurosurgical procedures, with acute cases dominating over chronic benign disorders.(HT FILE PHOTO)

Neurological surgeries at Chandigarh’s PGIMER dip by 46% due to Covid

During the Covid-19 phase, the neurosurgery department operated at 54.6% of the pre-Covid capacity
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON DEC 04, 2020 12:34 AM IST

The number of neurological surgeries conducted at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a dip of 46%, a study has revealed.

All non-trauma patients admitted to the department of neurosurgery between April 1 and August 15 this year were evaluated and compared with those treated between January 1 and March 22 (pre-Covid period).

A total of 1,769 patients (961 males and 808 females) with a mean age of 37.7 years were evaluated in the study. Surgery was performed on 933 patients during the pre-Covid period at an average of 337.2 patients per month, while 829 patients underwent surgery during the Covid-19 period averaging at 184.2 per month.

During the Covid-19 phase, the neurosurgery department operated at 54.6% of the pre-Covid capacity (a drop of 45.4% cases), the study of one of the largest neurosurgical tertiary care departments, catering to an average of 115 in-patient cases at a time, stated.

Acute cases dominate

The study concluded that the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 had resulted in a significant change in the pattern of neurosurgical procedures, with acute cases dominating over chronic benign disorders.

The percentage of patients treated for a ruptured aneurysm or an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) rose nearly 1.7 times during the Covid-19 period (18%) compared to the percentage during the pre-Covid period (10.6%). Similarly, there was an increased percentage of surgeries performed for hydrocephalus, stroke, and cerebellar tumours during the Covid-19 period. There were reductions in the percentages of patients who were surgically treated for glioma, spinal disorders, meningioma, sellar-suprasellar tumours, and cerebral metastasis.

The percentage of patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage, stroke, hydrocephalus, and cerebellar tumours have increased during the pandemic. Some of these illnesses, including subarachnoid haemorrhage and stroke, are also correlated with a sedentary lifestyle, dietary factors, and high-stress levels expected in the pandemic, the study stated.

Prevalence among patients

Among the Covid-19 asymptomatic patients who were admitted for surgery, four were found to be positive in the first Covid-19 test in the emergency wing area, and an additional five patients were found to be positive in the second test.

Till August 15, Covid-19 had been detected 3.7 times more often in asymptomatic neurosurgical inpatients than in the local community even with a single test, while with double testing displayed an incremental value by disclosing Covid-19 overall in 1 in 100 inpatients.

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