In Puerto Rico—more than one month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island—many communities still lack the water, electricity, pharmaceuticals, communications, transportation, and other resources needed to sustain life and care for patients. At Hospital Español Auxilio Mutuo in San Juan, our cardiac perfusion team works under these challenging conditions to provide medical care, which has included a successful aortic dissection repair performed with the patient under deep hypothermic circulatory arrest while the hospital was on generator power.
The role of an expert IONM team is critical in the timely identification of adverse neurophysiologic changes and in promoting corrective action by the surgeon and anesthesiologist. Our research is based on clinical IONM data from SpecialtyCare’s Operative Procedural Registry. Taking advantage of big data—nearly 70,000 cases in this study—ensures that our conclusions are statistically significant, a vital aspect of evidence-based improvement in healthcare. It was an honor to present this study to such a prestigious group of surgeons at NASS and, in doing so, provide actionable information to help elevate the quality of care across the country.