The vascular access role of surgeons during the COVID-19 pandemic

"New skills sets were acquired such as PICC line placement and complex ventilator management" Wady et al (2020).


Background: Surgeons are trained as “internists that also operate,” bringing an important skillset to patient management during the current COVID-19 pandemic. A review was performed to illustrate the response of surgical staff during the pandemic with regard to patient care and residency training.

Methods: The evaluation and assessment of the changes enacted at Stony Brook Medicine’s Department of Surgery is illustrated through the unique perspective of surgical residents. No IRB approval or written consent was obtained nor it was necessary for the purposes of this paper.

Results: Hospital policy was enacted to hinder transmission of COVID-19 and included limited gatherings of people, restricted travel, quarantined symptomatic staff, and careful surveillance for disease incidence. Surgical residency transformed as residents were diverted from traditional surgical services to staff new COVID-19 ICUs. Education transitioned to an online-based platform for lectures and reviews. New skills sets were acquired such as PICC line placement and complex ventilator management.

Conclusions: The viral surge impacted surgical training while also providing unique lessons regarding preparedness and strategic planning for future pandemic and disaster management.


Wady, H., Restle, D., Park, J., Pryor, A., Talamini, M. and Abdel-Misih, S. (2020) The role of surgeons during the COVID-19 pandemic: impact on training and lessons learned from a surgical resident’s perspective. Surgical Endoscopy. July 14th. (epub ahead of print).

Safety IV catheter