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Int J Stroke ; 16(7): 771-783, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374086


BACKGROUND: The effect of the COVID pandemic on stroke network performance is unclear, particularly with consideration of drip&ship vs. mothership models. AIMS: We systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed variations in stroke admissions, rate and timing of reperfusion treatments during the first wave COVID pandemic vs. the pre-pandemic timeframe depending on stroke network model adopted. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: The systematic review followed registered protocol (PROSPERO-CRD42020211535), PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL until 9 October 2020 for studies reporting variations in ischemic stroke admissions, treatment rates, and timing in COVID (first wave) vs. control-period. Primary outcome was the weekly admission incidence rate ratio (IRR = admissions during COVID-period/admissions during control-period). Secondary outcomes were (i) changes in rate of reperfusion treatments and (ii) time metrics for pre- and in-hospital phase. Data were pooled using random-effects models, comparing mothership vs. drip&ship model. Overall, 29 studies were included in quantitative synthesis (n = 212,960). COVID-period was associated with a significant reduction in stroke admission rates (IRR = 0.69, 95%CI = 0.61-0.79), with higher relative presentation of large vessel occlusion (risk ratio (RR) = 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.24-2.12). Proportions of patients treated with endovascular treatment increased (RR = 1.14, 95%CI = 1.02-1.28). Intravenous thrombolysis decreased overall (IRR = 0.72, 95%CI = 0.54-0.96) but not in the mothership model (IRR = 0.81, 95%CI = 0.43-1.52). Onset-to-door time was longer for the drip&ship in COVID-period compared to the control-period (+32 min, 95%CI = 0-64). Door-to-scan was longer in COVID-period (+5 min, 95%CI = 2-7). Door-to-needle and door-to-groin were similar in COVID-period and control-period. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a 35% drop in stroke admissions during the first pandemic wave, proportions of patients receiving reperfusion and time-metrics were not inferior to control-period. Mothership preserved the weekly rate of intravenous thrombolysis and the onset-to-door timing to pre-pandemic standards.

COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/therapy , Thrombolytic Therapy , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Reperfusion , Time-to-Treatment
Stroke ; 51(9): e2111-e2114, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636734


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Anecdotal evidence suggests that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic mitigation efforts may inadvertently discourage patients from seeking treatment for stroke with resultant increased morbidity and mortality. Analysis of regional data, while hospital capacities for acute stroke care remained fully available, offers an opportunity to assess this. We report regional Stroke Team acute activations and reperfusion treatments during COVID-19 mitigation activities. METHODS: Using case log data prospectively collected by a Stroke Team exclusively serving ≈2 million inhabitants and 30 healthcare facilities, we retrospectively reviewed volumes of consultations and reperfusion treatments for acute ischemic stroke. We compared volumes before and after announcements of COVID-19 mitigation measures and the prior calendar year. RESULTS: Compared with the 10 weeks prior, stroke consultations declined by 39% (95% CI, 32%-46%) in the 5 weeks after announcement of statewide school and restaurant closures in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Results compared with the prior year and time trend analyses were consistent. Reperfusion treatments also appeared to decline by 31% (95% CI, 3%-51%), and specifically thrombolysis by 33% (95% CI, 4%-55%), but this finding had less precision. CONCLUSIONS: Upon the announcement of measures to mitigate COVID-19, regional acute stroke consultations declined significantly. Reperfusion treatment rates, particularly thrombolysis, also appeared to decline qualitatively, and this finding requires further study. Urgent public education is necessary to mitigate a possible crisis of avoiding essential emergency care due to COVID-19.

Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/complications , Stroke/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Indiana/epidemiology , Kentucky/epidemiology , Ohio/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Care Team , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Reperfusion , Stroke/epidemiology , Thrombectomy , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Outcome