Today’s Top Story

Hydroxychloroquine Research Crawls On After Two Studies Are Retracted

Researchers still want to test hydroxychloroquine after study of the drug garnered much negative attention and confusion following the retraction of two articles published in The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine, which stated that the drug did not help COVID-19 patients and may increase mortality risk. A trial at the Duke University School of Medicine is recruiting healthcare workers to see if the drug can prevent COVID-19; however, Susanna Naggie, MD, vice dean for clinical research at Duke, said that while she and her colleagues are hoping to recruit 15,000 participants, they have so far only enrolled 800.

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In Other News

Asymptomatic COVID-19 Spread: WHO Says ‘Rare’; Experts Disagree

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated it is “rare” for asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to transmit the disease to others. The announcement was met with puzzlement and criticism from many observers, who pointed to published studies suggesting otherwise. In a study published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the authors said their research “suggests that the virus might have greater potential than previously estimated to spread silently and deeply through human populations.”

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Orthopaedic Volume May Take a Year to Return to Prepandemic Levels

According to research from GlobalData, it may take a full year for orthopaedic surgery volume to return to prepandemic levels. An estimated 83.5 percent of orthopaedic surgeries were considered nonessential and therefore delayed during the pandemic. The surgeries that were deemed essential and performed during the pandemic included trauma surgeries, amputations, and oncologic procedures, with dislocations and fractures only being performed in emergencies.

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Study: How Has the Pandemic Affected Residency Applications?

A study published online in the Journal of the AAOS ® analyzed COVID-19’s impact on the orthopaedic surgery residency application process. Given the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the study notes that it is important for residents to define themselves in different ways, including scheduling the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 2 Clinical Knowledge before submitting applications, conducting remote research, or volunteering in their communities.

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Study: COVID-19 Incidence in Pediatric Surgical Hospitals

A study published online in JAMA Surgery assessed the incidence of COVID-19 in pediatric surgical hospitals. Data on 1,295 pediatric surgical patients (mean age, 7.35 years) in three hospitals were included. The overall COVID-19 incidence was 093 percent (n = 12), although the rate varied significantly among hospitals, from 0.22 percent to 2.65 percent. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, five of nine positive COVID-19 cases were from a single township. Of the 12 total cases, half had preoperative signs and symptoms, compared to 12.24 percent who tested negative. Patients with COVID-19 were more likely to have fever, rhinorrhea, and known COVID-19 exposure.

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COVID-19 Is Increasing Moral Distress Among Physicians

The impact of the spread of COVID-19 cannot be overstated. There are daily reports of large numbers of infections and deaths. There are shortages of supplies and blood. Orthopaedic surgeons have been asked to work outside their field. Many of the stressors that caused orthopaedic surgeons to feel burned out before the pandemic are now compounded, with increased risk of moral distress and injury leading to increased burnout within the orthopaedic community.

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COVID-19: Member Resource Center

To help Academy members stay informed during this rapidly evolving situation, AAOS is gathering COVID-19 resources to be housed in one place online. In addition to general resources, AAOS is working to provide materials that are specific to orthopaedics, including information for practice management, patient safety, policy changes around coding and regulation, and ongoing advocacy efforts. Be sure to check this page regularly, as it is updated daily with new information. Members who want to share their frontline stories or write related articles should email AAOS Now Publisher Dennis Coyle at

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