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Int J Stroke ; 16(5): 573-584, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156042


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to profound changes in the organization of health care systems worldwide. AIMS: We sought to measure the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the volumes for mechanical thrombectomy, stroke, and intracranial hemorrhage hospitalizations over a three-month period at the height of the pandemic (1 March-31 May 2020) compared with two control three-month periods (immediately preceding and one year prior). METHODS: Retrospective, observational, international study, across 6 continents, 40 countries, and 187 comprehensive stroke centers. The diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes and/or classifications in stroke databases at participating centers. RESULTS: The hospitalization volumes for any stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and mechanical thrombectomy were 26,699, 4002, and 5191 in the three months immediately before versus 21,576, 3540, and 4533 during the first three pandemic months, representing declines of 19.2% (95%CI, -19.7 to -18.7), 11.5% (95%CI, -12.6 to -10.6), and 12.7% (95%CI, -13.6 to -11.8), respectively. The decreases were noted across centers with high, mid, and low COVID-19 hospitalization burden, and also across high, mid, and low volume stroke/mechanical thrombectomy centers. High-volume COVID-19 centers (-20.5%) had greater declines in mechanical thrombectomy volumes than mid- (-10.1%) and low-volume (-8.7%) centers (p < 0.0001). There was a 1.5% stroke rate across 54,366 COVID-19 hospitalizations. SARS-CoV-2 infection was noted in 3.9% (784/20,250) of all stroke admissions. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of overall stroke hospitalizations, mechanical thrombectomy procedures, and intracranial hemorrhage admission volumes. Despite geographic variations, these volume reductions were observed regardless of COVID-19 hospitalization burden and pre-pandemic stroke/mechanical thrombectomy volumes.

COVID-19 , Global Health , Hospitalization/trends , Intracranial Hemorrhages/therapy , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals, High-Volume/trends , Hospitals, Low-Volume/trends , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/diagnosis , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Registries , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors
Curr Opin Neurol ; 34(1): 18-21, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940813


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to review the current literature on endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke in the aftermath of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown. RECENT FINDINGS: The outbreak of the COVID-19 has had effect of unprecedented magnitude on the social, economic and personal aspects around the globe. Healthcare providers were forced to expand capacity to provide care to the surging number of symptomatic COVID-19 patients, while maintaining a fully operating service for all non-COVID patients. The recent literature suggesting an overall decrease in acute ischemic stroke admissions as well as total number of endovascular treatments will be reviewed. Although the underlying reasons therefore remain the matter of debate, it seems that the imposed restrictions, requiring social distancing, and stopping all nonessential services, have led to a higher threshold for patients to seek medical attention, in particular in those with less severe symptoms. Thus, raising public awareness on the importance of strokes and transient ischemic attacks is even more important in the light of the current situation to avoid serious healthcare, economic consequences, and limit long term morbidity. SUMMARY: The priority remains maintaining a fast and efficient pre and in-hospital work-flow while mitigating nosocomial transmission and protecting the patient and the healthcare workers with appropriate personal protective equipment.

Brain Ischemia/surgery , COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures/methods , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics