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      The role of surgeons during the COVID-19 pandemic: impact on training and lessons learned from a surgical resident’s perspective

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          Surgeons are trained as “internists that also operate,” bringing an important skillset to patient management during the current COVID-19 pandemic. A review was performed to illustrate the response of surgical staff during the pandemic with regard to patient care and residency training.


          The evaluation and assessment of the changes enacted at Stony Brook Medicine’s Department of Surgery is illustrated through the unique perspective of surgical residents. No IRB approval or written consent was obtained nor it was necessary for the purposes of this paper.


          Hospital policy was enacted to hinder transmission of COVID-19 and included limited gatherings of people, restricted travel, quarantined symptomatic staff, and careful surveillance for disease incidence. Surgical residency transformed as residents were diverted from traditional surgical services to staff new COVID-19 ICUs. Education transitioned to an online-based platform for lectures and reviews. New skills sets were acquired such as PICC line placement and complex ventilator management.


          The viral surge impacted surgical training while also providing unique lessons regarding preparedness and strategic planning for future pandemic and disaster management.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

          Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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            First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States

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              Vital surveillances: the epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) — China

               NCPERE Team (2020)

                Author and article information

                Surg Endosc
                Surg Endosc
                Surgical Endoscopy
                Springer US (New York )
                14 July 2020
                : 1-7
                [1 ]GRID grid.412695.d, ISNI 0000 0004 0437 5731, Department of Surgery, , Stony Brook University Medical Center, ; Stony Brook, NY USA
                [2 ]GRID grid.412695.d, ISNI 0000 0004 0437 5731, Division of Bariatric, Foregut and Advanced Gastrointestinal Surgery, Department of Surgery, , Stony Brook University Medical Center, ; Stony Brook, NY USA
                [3 ]GRID grid.412695.d, ISNI 0000 0004 0437 5731, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, , Stony Brook University Medical Center, ; Stony Brook, NY USA
                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.



                covid 19, pandemic, surgeons role, health policy


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