These are uncertain times for all of us facing the COVID-19 pandemic. As surgeons, we are seeing a halt to our elective practice, a transition to virtual clinic visits, and potential redeployment into areas of the front line in ICUs or medical wards that are outside of our regular practice patterns. Healthcare workers overall are facing potential equipment shortages, including in personal protective equipment. SAGES is working hard to provide resources to help you navigate this unfamiliar landscape. I can’t believe it was only two weeks ago that we postponed our annual meeting until August.
On March 19, we issued a statement recommending considerations for surgical practice during the pandemic, but landscapes are local, and the situation is in rapid evolution. The March 19 statement was written by the Quality, Outcomes and Safety Committee, led by Jonathan Dort, Konstantinos Spaniolas and Deborah Keller with input from a broad group of our other SAGES leaders. Please keep in mind that even though a significant effort is placed in bringing you the best information, our recommendations are not meant to be rigorous scientific guidelines and they may evolve as additional evidence becomes available.
The Acute Care committee led by Rob Lim with co-authors Kim Davis, Andre Campbell and Mike Cripps shared their critical care experience with us in a primer for those of us who will be expanding our scope of practice by necessity. We also have a primer on Telehealth on our site written by Kevin Wasco, Shawn Tsuda, Christopher Schlachta, Caitlin Halbert and Jonathan Dort with input from our SAGES executives. The included codes may help you navigate this useful modality.
Other resources on our webpage come from our global partners. Horacio Asbun, SAGES’ President-elect, has established a coalition called Corona Virus Global Surgical Collaborative of front line COVID-fighters from across the globe. We are meeting virtually weekly to exchange experiences and best practices. We plan to share lessons learned on our website and in publication. The first set of documents from this coalition are from Salvador Morales and the Spanish Association of Surgeons. We are working to translate these into English, but believe many of you will still find them helpful in their current form. They are not formally endorsed. Keep posted as there is more to come!
We have set up a webpage detailing our recommendations and resources with links to other helpful sites for the latest information on COVID-19. Please visit:
We are updating it almost daily. To avoid further email saturation, updates and new statements will be posted there instead of emailed.
Thank you for all of the hard work all of you do and your commitment to our SAGES Mission: Innovate, educate and collaborate to improve patient care.