Today’s Top Story

HHS Delivers COVID-19 Testing Funds

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is delivering $11 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will give $10.25 billion to states and territories, per its Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases cooperative agreement; the Indian Health Services (IHS) will give $750 million to IHS, tribal, and urban Indian Health programs. The funds will come from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act and will help produce, deliver, and assess COVID-19 tests, as well as support surveillance efforts, contact tracing, and more.

Read the HHS press release…

In Other News

HHS Teams up with Industry Partners to Expand Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

HHS is partnering with private industry partners led by Phlow Corporation to expand pharmaceutical marketing to help produce needed medicines. Specifically, the team will work quickly to produce the active pharmaceutical ingredients and their chemical compounds in response to or anticipation of drug shortages.

Read the HHS press release…

Study: COVID-19 Impact on Elective Orthopaedic Surgery Post-pandemic

A study published online in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery assessed lasting effects the COVID-19 pandemic will have on elective orthopaedic surgery. Researchers performed a Monte Carlo stochastic simulation-based analysis to predict the volume of elective, inpatient total joint arthroplasty, and spinal fusion surgical cases that will be required after the pandemic. In the event that elective orthopaedic surgery resumes in June, in an optimistic scenario, it will take seven months for the healthcare system to perform 90 percent of the expected prepandemic forecasted volume of surgery. Also in the optimistic scenario, the cumulative backlog of cases two years after the end of elective surgery deferment will surpass one million. In ambivalent and pessimistic scenarios, it would take the healthcare system 12 and 16 months, respectively, to perform 90 percent of the forecasted surgery volume.

Read the abstract…

Study Analyzes COVID-19 Outcomes in Pediatric ICUs

A study published online in JAMA Pediatrics described COVID-19 in pediatric intensive care units (ICUs), specifically examining mode of presentation, presence of comorbidities, severity of disease, therapeutic interventions, clinical trajectory, and early outcomes. A total of 48 children (median age, 13 years; 52 percent were male) who tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to one of 46 pediatric ICUs in North America between March 14 and April 3 were assessed; final follow-up took place on April 10. Most patients (n = 40; 83 percent) had significant preexisting comorbidities. About three-quarters of patients (n = 35; 73 percent) had respiratory symptoms; 18 (38 percent) required invasive ventilation. Nearly a quarter of patients (n = 11; 23 percent) had failure of at least two organ systems. One patient required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). More than half of patients (n = 28; 61 percent) received targeted therapies, the most common of which was hydroxychloroquine either alone (n = 11) or in combination (n = 10). At final follow-up, two patients (4 percent) had died, while 15 (31 percent) were still in the hospital, of whom three still needed ventilatory support and one was receiving ECMO. Among the discharged patients, the median pediatric ICU length of stay (LOS) was five days; median hospital LOS was seven days.

Read the study…

COVID-19 Deals Financial Blow to Hospitals

The COVID-19 pandemic has simultaneously created a need for health care, while also devastating the healthcare sector financially. Patients are making fewer doctor’s office visits and not undergoing nonemergent surgeries, forcing hospitals to cut costs and lay off staff. HCA Healthcare reported a 70 percent decrease in hospital-based outpatient surgeries through late April.

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Surgeons Use a Disaster Response Approach to Manage Urgent Patient Care During COVID-19

All orthopaedic practices have been highly affected in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with no subspecialty untouched. The responses implemented reflect the principles of disaster management, which bear review. Disaster response relies on planning, effective casualty care, limiting further casualties, and recovery. Careful management of resources and good communication are key in effective response. The Orthopaedic Trauma Association’s Disaster Response Committee’s response plan, detailed in this article, includes utilizing compartmentalized teams to provide care, emergency department evaluation, patient screening, limiting patient contact, and more.

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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 more 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, including the most recent message from AAOS President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS.

Access the resource center…