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Hearing From the COVID-19 Epicenter—A Neurotologist’s Reflection From the Front Lines

Educational Objective
To understand a neurotologists’s perspective on the COVID-19 front lines
1 Credit CME

I am a neurotologist, but in April 2020, I worked as a medicine attending physician, staffing an inpatient coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ward in New York City. As with all hospitals in the US epicenter, Mount Sinai Health System experienced a surge of COVID-19–positive patients; during the peak, there were more than 10 consecutive days with more than 2000 COVID-19–positive inpatients across our 8-hospital health system (with a pre–COVID-19 inpatient capacity of 3184, not accounting for surge beds created during the peak). Charting unprecedented waters, our otolaryngology department responded in a variety of ways, including running a temporary intensive care unit at Elmhurst Hospital, a difficult-airway response team, and an otolaryngologist-run inpatient COVID-19 medicine unit for patients with mild to moderate disease.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Maura K. Cosetti, MD, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, 310 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003 (maura.cosetti@mountsinai.org).

Published Online: September 3, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2020.2532

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Cosetti reported unpaid participation in research on cochlear implants and other implantable devices manufactured by Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas, MED-EL, and Oticon Medical outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.

References
1.
Dwyer  J . What doctors on the front lines wish they’d known a month ago. New York Times. April 14, 2020. Accessed June 1, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/nyregion/new-york-coronavirus.html
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