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1.
J Card Surg ; 37(7): 1939-1945, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779254

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a drastic increase in the use of telemedicine. There is little information about the effectiveness of telemedicine in cardiac surgery. We examined clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction among patients who had in-person versus telemedicine preoperative appointments in a subspecialized mitral valve surgical practice. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients who had elective mitral valve operations between January 2019 and February 2021. Patients were categorized into 2 groups based on the format of the preoperative appointment (telemedicine or in-person). Preoperative characteristics and clinical outcomes were compared between the two groups. All patients who had a telemedicine appointment were sent an online survey to assess their satisfaction with the process. RESULTS: Among 286 patients analyzed, 197 (69%) had in-person preoperative evaluations and 89 (31%) had telemedicine evaluations. The in-person and telemedicine groups had similar preoperative and operative characteristics. Outcomes did not differ between the 2 groups, including ventilation time (3.7 vs. 4.1 h, p = .399), total length of stay (5 vs. 5 days, p = .949), 30-day mortality (0% vs. 1%, p = .311), and readmissions within 30 days (13% vs. 8%, p = .197). Among patients who completed the survey, 91% were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the telemedicine preoperative appointment. CONCLUSION: Patients who had telemedicine preoperative appointments before mitral valve operations during the COVID-19 pandemic had similarly excellent clinical outcomes to patients who had in-person preoperative appointments before the pandemic. Patients had relatively high levels of satisfaction with telemedicine and almost half preferred telemedicine for future visits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mitral Valve/surgery , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Retrospective Studies
2.
Ann Thorac Surg ; 112(6): 1983-1989, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A life-threatening complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) refractory to conventional management. Venovenous (VV) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (VV-ECMO) is used to support patients with ARDS in whom conventional management fails. Scoring systems to predict mortality in VV-ECMO remain unvalidated in COVID-19 ARDS. This report describes a large single-center experience with VV-ECMO in COVID-19 and assesses the utility of standard risk calculators. METHODS: A retrospective review of a prospective database of all patients with COVID-19 who underwent VV-ECMO cannulation between March 15 and June 27, 2020 at a single academic center was performed. Demographic, clinical, and ECMO characteristics were collected. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality; survivor and nonsurvivor cohorts were compared by using univariate and bivariate analyses. RESULTS: Forty patients who had COVID-19 and underwent ECMO were identified. Of the 33 patients (82.5%) in whom ECMO had been discontinued at the time of analysis, 18 patients (54.5%) survived to hospital discharge, and 15 (45.5%) died during ECMO. Nonsurvivors presented with a statistically significant higher Prediction of Survival on ECMO Therapy (PRESET)-Score (mean ± SD, 8.33 ± 0.8 vs 6.17 ± 1.8; P = .001). The PRESET score demonstrated accurate mortality prediction. All patients with a PRESET-Score of 6 or lowers survived, and a score of 7 or higher was associated with a dramatic increase in mortality. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that favorable outcomes are possible in patients with COVID-19 who undergo ECMO at high-volume centers. This study demonstrated an association between the PRESET-Score and survival in patients with COVID-19 who underwent VV-ECMO. Standard risk calculators may aid in appropriate selection of patients with COVID-19 ARDS for ECMO.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/mortality , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Adult , Humans , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment
3.
J Card Surg ; 36(9): 3040-3051, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health care and cardiac surgery. We report cardiac surgeons' concerns, perceptions, and responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A detailed survey was sent to recruit participating adult cardiac surgery centers in North America. Data regarding cardiac surgeons' perceptions and changes in practice were analyzed. RESULTS: Our study comprises 67 institutions with diverse geographic distribution across North America. Nurses were most likely to be redeployed (88%), followed by advanced care practitioners (69%), trainees (28%), and surgeons (25%). Examining surgeon concerns in regard to COVID-19, they were most worried with exposing their family to COVID-19 (81%), followed by contracting COVID-19 (68%), running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) (28%), and hospital resources (28%). In terms of PPE conservation strategies among users of N95 respirators, nearly half were recycling via decontamination with ultraviolet light (49%), followed by sterilization with heat (13%) and at home or with other modalities (13%). Reuse of N95 respirators for 1 day (22%), 1 week (21%) or 1 month (6%) was reported. There were differences in adoption of methods to conserve N95 respirators based on institutional pandemic phase and COVID-19 burden, with higher COVID-19 burden institutions more likely to resort to PPE conservation strategies. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates the impact of COVID-19 on North American cardiac surgeons. Our study should stimulate further discussions to identify optimal solutions to improve workforce preparedness for subsequent surges, as well as facilitate the navigation of future healthcare crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Surgeons , Adult , Decontamination , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Membranes (Basel) ; 11(5)2021 Apr 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201372

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) has several distinctions from traditional acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, patients with refractory respiratory failure may still benefit from veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) support. We report our challenges caring for CARDS patients on VV-ECMO and alterations to traditional management strategies. (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of our institutional strategies for managing patients with COVID-19 who required VV-ECMO in a dedicated airlock biocontainment unit (BCU), from March to June 2020. The data collected included the time course of admission, VV-ECMO run, ventilator length, hospital length of stay, and major events related to bleeding, such as pneumothorax and tracheostomy. The dispensation of sedation agents and trial therapies were obtained from institutional pharmacy tracking. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed. (3) Results: Forty COVID-19 patients on VV-ECMO were managed in the BCU during this period, from which 21 survived to discharge and 19 died. The criteria for ECMO initiation was altered for age, body mass index, and neurologic status/cardiac arrest. All cannulations were performed with a bedside ultrasound-guided percutaneous technique. Ventilator and ECMO management were routed in an ultra-lung protective approach, though varied based on clinical setting and provider experience. There was a high incidence of pneumothorax (n = 19). Thirty patients had bedside percutaneous tracheostomy, with more procedural-related bleeding complications than expected. A higher use of sedation was noted. The timing of decannulation was also altered, given the system constraints. A variety of trial therapies were utilized, and their effectiveness is yet to be determined. (4) Conclusions: Even in a high-volume ECMO center, there are challenges in caring for an expanded capacity of patients during a viral respiratory pandemic. Though institutional resources and expertise may vary, it is paramount to proceed with insightful planning, the recognition of challenges, and the dynamic application of lessons learned when facing a surge of critically ill patients.

5.
Membranes (Basel) ; 11(4)2021 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167659

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The most critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may require advanced support modalities, such as veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO). A systematic, methodical approach to a respiratory pandemic on a state and institutional level is critical. METHODS: We conducted retrospective review of our institutional response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the creation of a dedicated airlock biocontainment unit (BCU) to treat patients with refractory COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS). Data were collected through conversations with staff on varying levels in the BCU, those leading the effort to make the BCU and hospital incident command system, email communications regarding logistic changes being implemented, and a review of COVID-19 patient census at our institution from March through June 2020. RESULTS: Over 2100 patients were successfully admitted to system hospitals; 29% of these patients required critical care. The response to this respiratory pandemic augmented intensive care physician staffing, created a 70-member nursing team, and increased the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) capability by nearly 200%. During this time period, 40 COVID-19 patients on VV-ECMO were managed in the BCU. Challenges in an airlock unit included communication, scarcity of resources, double-bunking, and maintaining routine care. CONCLUSIONS: Preparing for a surge of critically ill patients during a pandemic can be a daunting task. The implementation of a coordinated, system-level approach can help with the allocation of resources as needed. Focusing on established strengths of hospitals within the system can guide triage based on individual patient needs. The management of ECMO patients is still a specialty care, and a systematic and hospital based approach requiring an ECMO team composed of multiple experienced individuals is paramount during a respiratory viral pandemic.

6.
Ann Thorac Surg ; 110(6): 2020-2025, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-165410

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically reduced adult cardiac surgery case volumes as institutions and surgeons curtail nonurgent operations. There will be a progressive increase in deferred cases during the pandemic that will require completion within a limited time frame once restrictions ease. We investigated the impact of various levels of increased postpandemic hospital operating capacity on the time to clear the backlog of deferred cases. Methods: We collected data from 4 cardiac surgery programs across 2 health systems. We recorded case rates at baseline and during the COVID-19 pandemic and created a mathematical model to quantify the cumulative surgical backlog based on the projected pandemic duration. We then used the model to predict the time required to clear the backlog depending on the level of increased operating capacity. Results: Cardiac surgery volumes fell to 54% of baseline after restrictions were implemented. Assuming a service restoration date of either June 1 or July 1, we calculated the need to perform 216% or 263% of monthly baseline volume, respectively, to clear the backlog in 1 month. The actual duration required to clear the backlog highly depends on hospital capacity in the post-COVID period, and ranges from 1 to 8 months, depending on when services are restored and the degree of increased capacity. Conclusions: Cardiac surgical operating capacity during the COVID-19 recovery period will have a dramatic impact on the time to clear the deferred cases backlog. Inadequate operating capacity may cause substantial delays and increase morbidity and mortality. If only prepandemic capacity is available, the backlog will never clear.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surge Capacity/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Models, Statistical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , SARS-CoV-2
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