Pediatric brain surgeon’s concerns about the impact of delayed diagnoses on patients due to COVID-19

Examining a child on the screen is similar to examining a child directly. Credit: Shutterstock

What is the incidence of brain tumors in Canadian children? 3 in 100,000. Brain tumors can be treated if they are localized, but if they grow, spread across the brain and in some cases metastasize to the spine or around the brain via cerebrospinal fluid, the prognosis worsens and treatment difficult. They are aggressive Brain tumors are the second most common cause of childhood cancer after leukemia, but they are the most common cause of childhood cancer death…

Many aggressive brain tumors occur before the age of 5 and are difficult to diagnose. infant.. again, Children Many of the complex or subtle neurological symptoms such as dizziness and diplopia cannot be expressed in words.

I often met for the first time last year or so when the children had already reached the end of their lives. Brain tumor.. These are children who are seriously ill. They are children. A life we ​​could have saved if diagnosed six months ago.

I know why it didn’t happen: COVID-19 pandemic and impact on our healthcare system And that patience..Sometimes families were reluctant to bring their children to see them The GP or regular care was only accessible through online bookings, where very little information was available to clinicians. For this Important observations that can only be obtained on physical examination..

Virtual visit

Seeing a patient on the screen is not the same as seeing a child directly. There are clues that we get Muscle tension, eye clarity and breathing subtleties, for example. If we use it together with other information, we can identify serious problems in a timely manner so that we can solve them.

The fears and distractions created by our handling of the pandemic drowned out other concerns and had terrifying consequences. So these children are not dead with COVID-19, but they certainly did die because of it.

Unfortunately, I’m sure. These preventable deaths happen across the health care system, just as it does between children and adults. The patient feared the virus more than anything else, so he postponed seeking diagnosis and treatment.

My Fellow Adult Patient Skipping Diagnostic Procedures Like Colonoscopy, Ignoring Chest Pain, Not Being able to Investigate Other Serious Concerns. People who suffer from other conditions are collateral damage caused by an ongoing pandemic.

This is painful and frustrating. The public health message across North America is aimed at protecting people from the pandemic. Based on what I’ve seen in my own practice, I’m afraid it may have been too vigilant and too negative. The message may have discouraged patients and avoided hospitals and clinics for fear of becoming infected with COVID-19. And the pandemic-focused media has created vigilance against COVID-19 at the expense of monitoring the symptoms of other diseases.

We are concerned that knowing the full extent of these preventable deaths could far exceed the number of deaths from COVID-19.

Ontario’s health minister Christine Elliott says the state will spend up to $324 million to address the untreated portion of the operation.

Post-pandemic healthcare

I encourage myself to see more kids with advanced terminals as we seem to have emerged from the worst stages of the cancer pandemic. They knew they could have lived without this well-intentioned but wrong approach.

It was encouraging to see the recent announcement by the Ontario government to add resources to non-COVID-19 care to help catch up, but in reality, for too many patients, the care they are currently receiving. Is too late.

Indeed, the public had to know itself and protect itself from the threat. Pandemic Viruses – Collective action by clinicians, scientists, frontline workers and others outside the medical system has helped mitigate the damage.

However, as of the spring of 2020, it appears that there have been no health problems other than COVID-19. While we were at the forefront, we were excited about washing our hands, wearing masks, keeping our distance and getting vaccines. The heartbeat of other serious health problems continues at a steady pace.

If we could all choose how to handle a new crisis, there would be a more balanced subtlety in tackling all health problems at once, rather than replacing almost everything else with a single public health problem. I think I liked the post. In the end, it’s worse than what we tried to prevent.

But Healthcare, I think too many people were unwilling to cut off direct contact with the patient in their doctor’s office, community clinic, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic services. Early diagnosis of symptoms in which the patient cannot identify.

Future pandemic

I am afraid of my colleagues and of what I have not yet discovered More and more patients are emerging from the dreaded shadow of COVID-19.. When we try to care for people with advanced diseases and conditions, we will catch up with months and even years , but usually new cases of diseases and conditions continue to develop that keep our system in perfect working order. increase.

As a doctor I want to help people to become as healthy as possible. I will do my best depending on the situation, but at home at midnight I look back on the suffering of the patient and his family and my heart is filled with sadness. I feel helpless.

The barrier was unintentional, but the impact is terrible.

we will More pandemics may occur, and faster than we want. When they come, we hope to face them. Taking into account the needs of all patients..

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