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Stroke ; 51(10): 3107-3111, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975789


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on stroke systems has not been systematically evaluated. Our study aims to investigate trends in telestroke consults during the pandemic. METHODS: We did retrospective chart review of consecutive patients seen through a telestroke network in South Carolina from March 2019 to April 2020. We dichotomized patients to preCOVID-19 pandemic (March 2019 to February 2020) and during COVID-19 pandemic (March to April 2020). RESULTS: A total of 5852 patients were evaluated during the study period, 613 (10.5%) were seen during the pandemic. The median number of weekly consults dropped from 112 to 77 during the pandemic, P=0.002. There was no difference in baseline features; however, Black patients were less likely to present with strokes during the pandemic (13.9% versus 29%, P≤0.002). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant drop in telestroke volume. The impact seems to disproportionately affect Black patients.

African Americans , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/ethnology , Telemedicine , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , South Carolina/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(11): 1039-1044, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742246


BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many centers altered stroke triage protocols for the protection of their providers. However, the effect of workflow changes on stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has not been systematically studied. METHODS: A prospective international study was launched at the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. All included centers participated in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) and Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Group (ENRG). Data was collected during the peak months of the COVID-19 surge at each site. Collected data included patient and disease characteristics. A generalized linear model with logit link function was used to estimate the effect of general anesthesia (GA) on in-hospital mortality and discharge outcome controlling for confounders. RESULTS: 458 patients and 28 centers were included from North America, South America, and Europe. Five centers were in high-COVID burden counties (HCC) in which 9/104 (8.7%) of patients were positive for COVID-19 compared with 4/354 (1.1%) in low-COVID burden counties (LCC) (P<0.001). 241 patients underwent pre-procedure GA. Compared with patients treated awake, GA patients had longer door to reperfusion time (138 vs 100 min, P=<0.001). On multivariate analysis, GA was associated with higher probability of in-hospital mortality (RR 1.871, P=0.029) and lower probability of functional independence at discharge (RR 0.53, P=0.015). CONCLUSION: We observed a low rate of COVID-19 infection among stroke patients undergoing MT in LCC. Overall, more than half of the patients underwent intubation prior to MT, leading to prolonged door to reperfusion time, higher in-hospital mortality, and lower likelihood of functional independence at discharge.

Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anesthesia, General , COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Independent Living , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Reperfusion , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome , Workflow