Progression of Changes in Vascular Surgery Practices during the Novel Corona Virus SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

Jonathan Bath, Faisal Aziz, Matthew R. Smeds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly since it was identified. We sought to understand its effects on vascular surgery practices stratified by VASCON surgical readiness level and determine how these effects have changed during the course of the pandemic. Methods: All members of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society were sent electronic surveys questioning the effects of COVID-19 on their practices in the early pandemic in April (EP) and four months later in the pandemic in August (LP) 2020. Results: Response rates were 206/731 (28%) in the EP group and 108/731 (15%) in the LP group (P < 0.0001). Most EP respondents reported VASCON levels less than 3 (168/206,82%), indicating increased hospital limitations while 6/108 (6%) in the LP group reported this level (P < 0.0001). The EP group was more likely to report a lower VASCON level (increased resource limitations), and decreased clinic, hospital and emergency room consults. Despite an increase of average cases/week to pre-COVID-19 levels, 46/108 (43%) of LP report continued decreased compensation, with 57% reporting more than 10% decrease. Respondents in the decreased compensation group were more likely to have reported a VASCON level 3 or lower earlier in the pandemic (P = 0.018). 91/108(84%) of LP group have treated COVID-19 patients for thromboembolic events, most commonly acute limb ischemia (76/108) and acute DVT (76/108). While the majority of respondents are no longer delaying the vascular surgery cases, 76/108 (70%) feel that vascular patient care has suffered due to earlier delays, and 36/108 (33%) report a backlog of cases caused by the pandemic. Conclusions: COVID-19 had a profound effect on vascular surgery practices earlier in the pandemic, resulting in continued detrimental effects on the provision of vascular care as well as compensation received by vascular surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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