New York neurosurgeon recovers from COVID-19, volunteers at hospital ICU

Alan Condon -   Print  |

A Westchester County, N.Y., neurosurgeon recently recovered from the novel coronavirus and has returned to the hospital where he works, reports the Times Herald-Record.

Ezriel Kornel, MD, 66, had been under self-quarantine since March 13 when he tested positive for COVID-19.

On March 30, after more than 72 hours with no fever and seven days since the onset of symptoms, he consulted with the county health department and returned to work. 

Most of his work focuses on nonemergent procedures, such as treating patients for herniated discs, which are considered non-life-threatening but can cause chronic pain.

"If someone doesn't have a profound neurological problem or their life isn't being threatened in some way, we can't do surgery," Dr. Kornel told the Times Herald-Record. "Unfortunately ... a number of these patients are having to be on narcotics, which we don't want to have to do, and they're just suffering."

To test if Dr. Kornel is now immune to the coronavirus, he donated blood at New York City-based Mount Sinai and is awaiting test results.

He has volunteered to be on-call at his hospital's ICU to support his colleagues treating COVID-19 patients on the front line.

More articles on spine:
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Michigan Head and Spine Institute surgeons take 45% pay cut during COVID-19
Nonsurgical procedures, mediocre care & COVID-19: 3 spine surgeons on the biggest threat to their practice

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