|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 3-4
How did the vascular surgeon evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic
Varinder S Bedi
Department of Peripheral Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Institute of Vascular and Endovascular Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||23-Jan-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||23-Jan-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||20-Feb-2021|
Varinder S Bedi
Department of Peripheral Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Institute of Vascular and Endovascular Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Bedi VS. How did the vascular surgeon evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2021;8:3-4
The detection of COVID-19 virus with the sudden lockdown worldwide was associated with the huge impact which led to a grinding halt in medical services along with social and economical hardship which was felt by the entire world.
Workshops, conferences which were practically being held every day in the some parts of the world had to be cancelled at a very short notice and this led to cessation of academic activity throughout the world.
The only challenge during this time was focused on the findings the solutions and management of COVID-19 complications. A lot of our vascular colleagues also became the victims of the COVID-19 virus, but fortunately all of them recovered completely.
We, at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital barely kept our nose up by focusing on emergency cases along with splitting ourselves into two teams, so as to protect the entire team from being infected. The volume of work dropped across the country from 100% to practically 0 in smaller centers and 30%–40% in the larger centers.
Since many of our colleagues were either sitting at home or in their respective places without too much of clinical work, there was a sense of depression, despondency, and negativity all around. In the month of May 2020, there was a thought in our team that since a lot of colleagues were not performing any interventions, it might be a prudent idea to show live transmissions of case from whichever center in the country was performing endovascular interventions.
This thought came after reappraisal of our eight seasons of EVOLVE following which we took the next step to conduct Endovascular Live in 2017.
Endovascular Live (EVL) 2017 involved the 10 top vascular centers in the country and in the next 4 years created a name of itself by involving the various national and international centers globally.
In the 1st year, about 42 live cases were performed from the various centers which increased to 85 live cases during EVL 2020. However, by the time the meeting ended, the scourge of COVID-19 had started invading the entire world which led to widespread lockdowns, stoppage of all elective work, and thus the whole world literally came to a standstill. The vascular team at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital was performing an average of 80–90 procedures per month during this period compared to 220 cases per month. During the month of April and May with a drop of almost 60%. This work was prominently limb salvage, AV access bailout, and wound management. However, during the month of May 2020, numbers started showing an upward trend and therefore sharing the experience with other colleagues all over the country, it was found that the small centers were at about 5%–10% functioning capacity and larger centers to about 30%–40% functionality.
EVL Continuum was therefore conceived in the month of June and on average 3–4 cases per day were transmitted to an appreciable audience in the country and other countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Middle East. A total number of 85 live cases were performed till October 2020 from various centers such as Institute of Vascular and Endovascular Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital-Delhi, Medanta-The Medicity-Gurugram, Dr. Manish Rawal's Hospital-Ahmedabad, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital-Mumbai and Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research-Bengaluru. Complex cases such as fenestrated endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR), percutaneous endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, thoracic EVAR, carotid stenting, and arterial and venous interventions were demonstrated in front of a virtual audience.
There was tremendous excitement and great discussion while the cases were being performed and there was a request from the participants to start EVL clinics as many of them could not devote time to live cases due to involvement in their duties. Thereafter, EVL clinics was commenced wherein the live cases performed as well as interesting cases which could not be live transmitted were presented with an average of 80–90 participants in the virtual discussion. Cases from centers from Singapore, Oman, Bangladesh, and India were presented, and this helped in maintaining the moral of the endovascular specialists all over the country and neighboring countries.
Taking a step back and evaluating the conditions this idea seemed to be a successful one, as this brought all the interventionalists together on a virtual platform in exhibiting the endovascular prowess of all our colleagues from India. One sincerely hopes that with the development of the vaccine, this would only be a distant memory but would also teach us few lessons in building up camaraderie and team sprit with our endovascular colleagues worldwide.
We are of course sanguine that days of physical meetings will be back soon, but COVID has educated all of us by opening a large window to the outside world through the virtual network.