Anesthesia-related Tweets during COVID-19

Twitter has become a social media nexus for the sharing of information, and in an Anesthesia & Analgesia Journal article published in April 2021, members of C3G’s Toronto Node at SickKids examined the way Twitter was used to share anesthesia-related information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across >240 million English-language Tweets related to COVID-19 published from January to October of 2020, only >23,000 (0.01%) were related to anesthesiology. Among this subset, the most frequent topics included airway management, personal protective equipment and COVID-19 testing. More than half of the Tweets contained a hyperlink, typically to scientific journal articles, news publications, anesthesia associations, and other social media websites. Average daily postings generally paralleled COVID-19 incidence and death rates in the US, with weekends typically seeing reduced activity compared to weekdays. While this study primarily reflects North American Twitter usage, the results suggest that most anesthesiology-related information disseminated via Twitter is from largely reputable sources and give insight into how social media may be used to effectively share and discuss accurate scientific information in times of global crisis.

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Published: September 23, 2021