Coronavirus Global Surgical Collaborative (CVGSC)*
An initiative sponsored by SAGES in collaboration with EAES, AEC, KSELS, and ELSA
A group of surgical leaders from affected countries have joined to discuss what they are learning during this Covid-19 Global crisis. The following is a brief summary of what they feel may be useful information to disseminate to the surgical community:
Improving communication strategies for hospitalized COVID patients:
Because of the no visitor or restricted visitor policies in hospitals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, communications between patients, families and their care teams have become extremely difficult. Understandably, clinical interactions are limited and preferentially conducted remotely, through glass doors, with in-person evaluations. Conversations are kept short and focused. Patients in isolation are particularly vulnerable to anxiety, fear of the unknown, and may have limited understanding of their condition and medical decision-making. A document on Communication Strategies during the COVID Pandemic is provided here and could be of valuable help in better understanding and addressing this issue.
Understanding COVID testing:
Several tests for the diagnosis of COVID infection have emerged. PCR, IgM and IgG are all valuable indicators at different stages of the disease. A comparison between the different tests, significance and potential pitfalls of the results are presented on the following document, courtesy of Surgery-AEC-COVID.
Transition back to surgical activities: When? How? by Whom?:
As we witness the decrease in cases in Europe and the plateau of the curve in certain parts of the US, a crucial question arises: How do we safely become operational and what will that look like? Since no one has a crystal ball to predict resurgence of the pandemic and prevalence of active infection, all answers to the question are based on predictions from expert opinion. Clinicians and health care providers should have an important role in advising both policy makers, hospital administration and the public on the need for a thoughtful approach before calling for a full return to normal activities. A webinar on the subject will be held (link) which may shed some light on this difficult issue. At the same time, SAGES and EAES, in collaboration with several international surgical societies, are conducting a Delphi study with rigorous methodology with the goal of getting some valid information that will aid in answering this question.
Message from Italy, Spain & Netherlands to North America:
SAGES and EAES have joined forces during this crisis in creating initiatives like the CVGSC and multiple sources of information that have been of significant value to the global surgical community. It is from EAES that SAGES has received a heartfelt message of support and encouragement. SAGES thanks their European sister society for such a gesture of friendship. The letter clearly illustrates what the human spirit is and how difficult times brings people together to join forces and overcome adversity.
Drs. Horacio Asbun (Lead), Mohammed Abu Hilal, Jaap Bonjer, Nicolas Demartines, Nader Francis, Ho-Seong Han, Davide Lomanto, Salvador Morales, Andrea Pietrabissa, Aurora Pryor, Christopher Schlachta, Patricia Sylla, Eduardo Targarona, Suthep Udomsawaengsup
Other Surgical Societies/leaders are welcome to participate in future discussions. Please contact SAGES Executive Director, Sallie Matthews at [email protected] if interested in being considered for participation.
The following is intended to provide our members with information arising from the experience of our colleagues from Europe and Asia who experienced the pandemic first. While the information provided is from very reliable sources, it is NOT evidence based data, since there was no time to test its validity on scientific grounds. It is merely an attempt to share practical advice based upon prior experience and current knowledge.
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