Cessation and resumption of elective neurointerventional procedures during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and future pandemics.

Journal: Interventional Neuroradiology : Journal Of Peritherapeutic Neuroradiology, Surgical Procedures And Related Neurosciences
Published:
Abstract

At the time of this writing, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic continues to be a global threat, disrupting usual processes, and protocols for delivering health care around the globe. There have been significant regional and national differences in the scope and timing of these disruptions. Many hospitals were forced to temporarily halt elective neurointerventional procedures with the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, in order to prioritize allocation of resources for acutely ill patients and also to minimize coronavirus disease 2019 transmission risks to non-acute patients, their families, and health care workers. This temporary moratorium on elective neurointerventional procedures is generally credited with helping to "flatten the curve" and direct scarce resources to more acutely ill patients; however, there have been reports of some delaying seeking medical care when it was in fact urgent, and other reports of patients having elective treatment delayed with the result of morbidity and mortality. Many regions have resumed elective neurointerventional procedures, only to now watch coronavirus disease 2019 positivity rates again climbing as winter of 2020 approaches. A new wave is now forecast which may have larger volumes of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 patients than the earlier wave(s) and may also coincide with a wave of patients hospitalized with seasonal influenza. This paper discusses relevant and practical elements of cessation and safe resumption of nonemergent neurointerventional services in the setting of a pandemic.