COVID-19 will continue to impact the healthcare system, hospitals, practices, orthopaedic surgeons, and patients for the foreseeable future. To help disseminate the most relevant and current news, the Academy will publish bonus COVID-19-focused editions of Headline News Now each Tuesday and Thursday for at least the next six weeks. 

“COVID-19: The Orthopaedic Response” Virtual Summit Commences; AAOS Leadership to Take the Stage Tonight at 6:40 p.m. E.S.T.

The two-day virtual summit presented by DOCSF–The Digital Orthopaedics Conference San Francisco, in partnership with the Academy and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), kicked off today. Thought leaders are sharing state-of-the-art, real-time learnings and outlining the technology resources available to guide you through this unprecedented crisis.

At 6:40 p.m. E.S.T., AAOS President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, will speak on the Academy’s response to COVID-19, including the organization’s decision to cancel the Annual Meeting and its commitment to ensuring that members are equipped to safely provide care. Following Dr Bosco’s update, Jordan Vivian, from the AAOS Office of Government Relations, will touch upon how the Association is advocating on behalf of its members and their patients while legislators and the administration look for ways to provide relief during this difficult time.

Programming continues tomorrow, April 3, starting at 7:30 a.m. P.S.T. Registration is free, and sessions will be recorded and made available on demand after the event.

Learn more and register…

In Other News

HHS Issues Four Guidelines for Optimal Ventilator Use

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) assistant secretary for health and U.S. Surgeon General penned an open letter to the healthcare community outlining four measures to optimize ventilator use during the COVID-19 pandemic, including: (1) rigorous adherence to all social distancing measures, including limitations on gatherings and travel; (2) following guidelines to optimize the use of mechanical ventilators; (3) judicious, data-driven requests and usage of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) of ventilators and equipment; and (4) increasing the capacity of the SNS through federal procurement.

Read the letter…

HHS Secretary Issues Statement on FDA Authorization of System for Respirator Decontamination

HHS Secretary Alex Azar released a statement after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a revised Emergency Use Authorization approving the large-scale use of a system to decontaminate used N95 respirators. Mr. Azar’s statement reads, in part, “Getting personal protective equipment to the heroic healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic is one of President Donald J. Trump’s top priorities. FDA’s quick action in authorizing Battelle’s technology will help hospitals get the maximum use out of their N95 respirators, while we work on multiple fronts to expand supplies available to them.”

Read the full statement…

Webinar: “Public Health Ethics During a Pandemic: What Every Orthopaedic Surgeon Should Know”

Casey J. Humbyrd, MD, FAAOS, hosts the recorded webinar “Public Health Ethics During a Pandemic: What Every Orthopaedic Surgeon Needs to Know,” sponsored by the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society. This webinar provides further detail and practical suggestions for those faced with difficult decisions surrounding rationing of care.

Watch the webinar…

CMS Publishes COVID-19 Podcasts

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts regular calls with clinicians, hospitals, other facilities, and states to keep stakeholders informed of their efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who cannot attend the live calls, CMS is publishing recordings and transcripts of the calls, which are accessible for free.

Access the podcasts…

Department of State Updates Visa Requirements for Medical Professionals

The Department of State published updated guidelines for visas for medical professionals, particularly those working to treat or mitigate the impact of COVID-19. J-1 Alien Physicians (medical residents) may be able to extend their stay, typically for one year at a time for up to seven years.

Read more…

Study: What Is the Severity of COVID-19?

A study published online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases provided early fatality ratio estimates for COVID-19. Individual case data for patients who died from COVID-19 in Hubei, China and outside mainland China were collected to estimate the time between symptom onset and outcome—either death or discharge. The case fatality ratio was estimated from individual line-list data on 1,334 cases identified outside of mainland China. Data were collected for 24 deaths in mainland China and 165 recoveries outside of China. The mean duration from onset of symptoms to death was 17.8 days and to hospital discharge was 24.7 days. The estimated crude case fatality ratio was 3.67 percent. When adjusting for demography and under-ascertainment, the best estimate of the case fatality ratio in China was 1.38 percent; ratios were significantly higher in older age groups. The estimated overall infection fatality ratio for China was 0.66 percent; this too increased with age.

Read the study…

Additional Information

COVID-19 Patients May Still Have Coronavirus After Symptoms Have Resolved

According to a study published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, patients treated for mild COVID-19 may still have the coronavirus for up to eight days after their symptoms have subsided.

Read more…

Doctors Adapt to Treating Patients Outside of their Specialty

An article published in The New York Times interviewed doctors who are trained in a particular specialty but are now on the frontlines treating COVID-19 patients.

Read more…