The Australian and New Zealand Vascular Trials network (ANZVTN) is a trainee-lead research collaborative aiming at increasing vascular surgical trainee involvement in research. Recently, the ANZVTN has partnered with the UK trainee Vascular and Endovascular Research Network (VERN) and other trainee networks across the world to conduct the COVID-19 Vascular Service Study: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the provision, practice and outcomes of vascular surgery (COVER study) .
This multi-tier project is intended to capture real-world Australian and International data and share experiences that will inform the management of vascular surgical patients during this period of healthcare crisis.
Part one involved the prospective survey of unit practices and patient-level data collection of health information from the medical records on patients who have had vascular surgical procedures starting at the date of elective surgery restrictions for a three-month period. Part two of the study involved prospective data collection of emergency vascular management decisions in order to identify changes in management of common vascular conditions during the pandemic.
The aim of the project is to
1. Prospectively review vascular procedures performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, surgical outcomes and changes over time.
2. Prospectively audit the management decisions related to urgent vascular surgery presentations (defined as vascular surgery presentations through Emergency Departments, outpatient clinics or direct admissions to vascular wards) and record deviations from defined standards for acute/urgent care.
25 trainee researchers from 18 hospitals in Australia have contributed to the COVER-AU study to date, with more sites pending. Three international publications have resulted from this study, with the Australian results currently being analysed.
Dr Hani Saeed, SET 2 Trainee