Editors’ Cover Letter

Dear Colleagues –

With a second surge in COVID-19 cases in much of the world, it is appropriate that the WFNS Newsletter again be dedicated primarily to the COVID pandemic.

The first item is a summary of WFNS President Franco Servadei’s presentation on neurotrauma education in the COVID pandemic era for the ICRAN virtual conference Dec 5-6, 2020.

Following are three reports from the WFNS Young Neurosurgeons Committee: (1) a summary of a publication on resilience during the pandemic; (2) the results of a global survey on the key needs of young neurosurgeons; (3) the University of Cambridge Press Release regarding dexamethasone and chronic SDH (Hutchinson PJ et al. Trial of Dexamethasone for Chronic Subdural Hematoma. N Engl J Med 16 Dec 2020).

A number of articles on the COVID pandemic are provided, with an emphasis on recent articles that present important information for neurosurgeons on their practice both as a surgeon and as a physician. The articles provided are restricted to open access. The December issue of Neurosurgical Focus, which is open access, provides more than a dozen articles on neurosurgery and COVID that should be consulted online by the reader.

Bilinski A and Emanuel EJ. COVID-19 and Excess All-Cause Mortality in the US and 18 Comparison Countries. JAMA 24 Nov 2020.
Datta SD et al. A Proposed Framework and Timeline of the Spectrum of Disease Due to SARS- CoV-2 Infection: Illness Beyond Acute Infection and Public Health Implications. JAMA 8 Dec 2020.
Divani AA et al. Central Nervous System Manifestations Associated with COVID-19. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 30 Oct 2020.
Keddie S et al. Laboratory biomarkers associated with COVID-19 severity and management. Clin Immunol 22 Oct 2020.
Lerner AM et al. Preventing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 With Masks and Other “Low-tech” Interventions. JAMA 17 Nov 2020.
Ma A et al. Stroke and Thromboprophylaxis in the Era of COVID-19. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis
accepted 4 Oct 2020, to publish Jan 2021.
Raffiq A et al. COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Neurosurgery Practice in Malaysia: Academic Insights, Clinical Experience and Protocols from March till August 2020. Malays J Med Sci 27 Oct 2020.
Scutti S. African experts share COVID-19 contact tracing tips. Glob Health Matters Newsletter Sep/Oct 2020.
Srinivasaiah B and Deora H. Anesthetic Management of Neurosurgery Patients in COVID-19 Pandemic in an Emergency Setting. J Neurosci Rural Pract 12 Jun 2020.
Viera-Artiles J et al. A novel aerosolisation mitigation device for endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery in the COVID‐19 era. Eur Arch Oto -rhino-Laryngol 16 Nov 2020.

Three articles that are not open access but that are especially informative and thought-provoking:

Munusamy T et al. Telemedicine via Smart Glasses in Critical Care of the Neurosurgical Patient—COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Response in Neurosurgery. Citation: World Neurosurg. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.09.076
Lancet Editorial Board. Climate and COVID-19: converging crises. www.thelancet.com Published online December 2, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32579-4
Watts N et al. The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change:
responding to converging crises. www.thelancet.com Published online December 2, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32290-X
A video by The Washington Post newspaper is very helpful regarding the use of masks: Military-grade camera shows risks of airborne coronavirus spread Investigations Dec 11, 2019

The final item is the report of the Serbian Neurosurgical Society virtual meeting Nov 28-29, 2020.

Effective vaccines – taken by a sufficient number of people around the world – should lower the odds of a third surge in the COVID pandemic. But we all must remember the lessons learned so far until the critical number of the global population are immunized. If we do not, a third surge is certain.

Take the actions to stay safe – both personally and professionally!

Mohammad Raji Mahmud
Laura Lippa
Angelos Kolias
Roxanna Garcia
Hira Burhan
Russell Andrews
Amro Al-Habib

February 2024