It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has left a permanent mark on our world. Throughout the year, communities have had to confront unimaginable challenges, and rethink the way they work, function, and live.
To date, our state has had over 421,000 cases of the novel coronavirus. At the height of the pandemic here in New York, everyday life was put on hold, and our practice was limited to serving emergent patients only. In addition to caring for those in immediate need of surgical attention, one of our partners, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Davenport, pitched in by spending 4 weeks as a medical intensivist in an ICU ward at NYU Winthrop Hospital.
While the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily forced us to focus more solely on the needs of our local community, our LIPSG family never lost sight of our ongoing efforts around the world. As a dedicated partner of ReSurge International, we are proud to provide reconstructive surgical care and increased medical training to those in developing and underserved countries. As a result, our practice is working alongside ReSurge to offer medical professionals virtual training sessions in lieu of our typical in-person travel and training.
Since April there have been 26 virtual trainings to date, with over 650 participants from around the globe. Throughout the rest of the year, ReSurge will offer another 75+ virtual lectures that will continue as a complement to in-person trips once travel resumes. Of these ongoing lectures, Dr. Davenport is slated to present on “Post-Op Complications” and board-certified plastic surgeon and fellow LIPSG partner Dr. Roger Simpson will conduct a training on “Burns to the Upper Extremities.”
As we continue to move toward a new normal, our doors at LIPSG have reopened and our surgical hours here in New York have been restored. However, it is important to keep in mind that since March, 72% of all operations were canceled globally. That is 28 million+ operations. (Of that number, 942,394 are considered plastic surgery cases.) It is expected that even if surgeons were to return to work at a 120% capacity, they would still need upwards of a year to clear the backlog.
Global Surgical Care: The Facts
To date, 5 billion people worldwide lack access to safe, timely, and affordable surgical care. That is a frightening statistic given that even prior to a global pandemic, surgical conditions represented approximately 30% of the global burden of disease (all of the world’s health problems). A gap in surgical resources results in millions of people suffering from preventable deaths, disabilities, and related financial catastrophes each and every year. In 2020, we have already witnessed an unprecedented level of tragedy, which is why it is more important than ever for us to give back. By educating medical professionals in developing countries (both in-person and virtually), we are providing the world with access to more prepared and educated surgeons, ultimately helping patients in the most dire need.
How You Can Help
If you are interested in supporting our efforts with ReSurge International, please know that no contribution is too small. To donate or learn more, click HERE.