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Neurosurgery activity levels in the United Kingdom and republic of Ireland during the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic–a retrospective cross-sectional cohort study

Lookup NU author(s): Ian Coulter



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 The Neurosurgical Foundation.The impact of Covid-19 on surgical patients worldwide has been substantial. In the United Kingdom (UK) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI), the first wave of the pandemic occurred in March 2020. The aims of this study were to: (1) evaluate the volume of neurosurgical operative activity levels, Covid-19 infection rate and mortality rate in April 2020 with a retrospective cross-sectional cohort study conducted across 16 UK and RoI neurosurgical centres, and (2) compare patient outcomes in a single institution in April–June 2020 with a comparative cohort in 2019. Across the UK and RoI, 818 patients were included. There were 594 emergency and 224 elective operations. The incidence rate of Covid-19 infection was 2.6% (21/818). The overall mortality rate in patients with a Covid-19 infection was 28.6% (6/21). In the single centre cohort analysis, an overall reduction in neurosurgical operative activity by 65% was observed between 2020 (n = 304) and 2019 (n = 868). The current and future impact on UK neurosurgical operative activity has implications for service delivery and neurosurgical training.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richardson GE, Islim AI, Albanese E, Ahmed A, Aly A, Ammar A, Amoo M, Bhatt H, Bodkin P, Coulter I, Corr P, Elmaadawi I, Elserius A, Fountain DM, George KJ, Gillespie CS, Goel A, Grundy PL, Gurusinghe N, Hartley J, Hasan MDT, Javadpour M, Kalra N, Mallucci C, Millward CP, Mohamed B, Mohamed S, Mustafa MA, Nannapaneni R, Nolan D, Patel UJ, Piper RJ, Rajaraman C, Raza-Knight S, Rehman K, Rominiyi O, Sage W, Sharouf F, Sinha S, Sitaraman M, Smith S, Solth A, Stokes S, Taweel BA, Tyagi A, Zaben M, Jenkinson MD, Prasad M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Neurosurgery

Year: 2023

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 02/09/2021

Acceptance date: 09/08/2021

Date deposited: 30/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0268-8697

ISSN (electronic): 1360-046X

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/02688697.2021.1968341


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Funder referenceFunder name
North West Cancer Research (NWCR)