Neurology care during the COVID-19 pandemic, an interventional neurologist’s perspective

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Dr. Nils Mueller-Kronast

By: David DiPino
Contributing Writer

Nils Mueller-Kronast, MD, an interventional neurologist with Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute (PBNI) continues to provide care during the COVID-19 Pandemic for a wide variety of neurological ailments and neurovascular diseases including stroke and brain aneurysm treatment.

At Dr. Nils Mueller-Kronast’s PBNI office, safety protocols and guidelines continue to be in place and telehealth appointments are available. Those safety procedures include patient screening for fever and cough, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for social distancing by maintaining six-feet of distance between individuals in the waiting area and exam room and continuous wearing of masks by staff. In addition, Dr. Mueller-Kronast and his care staff wear gloves and masks during patient consultations, and the offices and waiting areas are routinely sanitized.

“Healthcare providers take great efforts to ensure patient and staff safety during an office consultation by limiting the physical exam when appropriate, maintaining social distance during the consultation while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the encounter. We also provide telehealth for new patients and follow-up appointments for added convenience and patient safety,” said Dr. Mueller-Kronast.

Telehealth appointments may be appropriate when the neurological disease does not require a physical exam.

“Bi-directional video and audio conferences provide an excellent patient experience without the inconvenience and perceived uncertainty of an in-person visit. If chosen for the correct patient and condition, there does not have to be a negative impact to not being ‘in-person’ with the patient during the interaction and telehealth can allow us to determine the correct diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Mueller-Kronast.

Additionally, Dr. Mueller-Kronast encourages going to the hospital for serious ailments and elective procedures.

“In the hospital patients who are suspected of COVID-19, or are COVID-19 positive, are managed by separate staff in separate areas of the hospital. We also use telehealth to minimize staff exposure when feasible. All elective surgery patients are COVID-19 tested,” said Dr. Mueller-Kronast.

As for the link between COVID-19 and stroke, Dr. Mueller-Kronast has seen rare occurrences.

“Early during the first months of the epidemic, in certain ‘hot spots’, some hospitals reported a spike in embolic large vessel occlusion in COVID-19 positive patients. We have seen a few COVID-19 positive stroke patients with typically more severe disease but, as in many parts of the country, there appeared to be a hesitancy of patients to present to the emergency room,” said Dr.  Mueller-Kronast.

Lastly, Dr. Mueller-Kronast encourages our communities to continue making efforts in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“These are difficult times, and we have to take this disease seriously. Everyone’s efforts are required to minimize the risk of exposure for our most vulnerable members of society. I feel that wearing a mask to protect someone else from a potentially deadly disease is a small burden which I will happily shoulder,” said Dr. Mueller-Kronast.

Dr. Nils Mueller-Kronast is an interventional neurologist with the Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute and is on-staff at Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach and Florida Medical Center, a campus of North Shore located in Fort Lauderdale. In addition, Dr. Mueller-Kronast is the Regional Medical Director of Neurosciences for Tenet Healthcare’s Florida Region.

Dr. Mueller-Kronast specializes in stroke, vascular neurology office consultations, endovascular management of elective and ruptured aneurysm, endovascular management of vascular malformations (dural AV fistulas, arteriovenous malformations), intra-arterial stroke treatment, carotid, intracranial and other cerebrovascular stents. His Palm Beach Neuroscience Institutes offices are located in Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach and Sunrise, FL. Dr. Mueller-Kronast’s Boynton Beach office is located at: 8756 Boynton Beach Blvd., Suite 2500, Boynton Beach, FL 33472. For more information visit: www.PBNI.com or call 561-499-7551.