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1.
J Neurol ; 2021 Jul 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333064

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We have demonstrated in a multicenter cohort that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a delay in intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) among stroke patients. Whether this delay contributes to meaningful short-term outcome differences in these patients warranted further exploration. METHODS: We conducted a nested observational cohort study of adult acute ischemic stroke patients receiving IVT from 9 comprehensive stroke centers across 7 U.S states. Patients admitted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (1/1/2019-02/29/2020) were compared to patients admitted during the early pandemic (3/1/2020-7/31/2020). Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of IVT delay on discharge to hospice or death, with treatment delay on admission during COVID-19 included as an interaction term. RESULTS: Of the 676 thrombolysed patients, the median age was 70 (IQR 58-81) years, 313 were female (46.3%), and the median NIHSS was 8 (IQR 4-16). Longer treatment delays were observed during COVID-19 (median 46 vs 38 min, p = 0.01) and were associated with higher in-hospital death/hospice discharge irrespective of admission period (OR per hour 1.08, 95% CI 1.01-1.17, p = 0.03). This effect was strengthened after multivariable adjustment (aOR 1.15, 95% CI 1.07-1.24, p < 0.001). There was no interaction of treatment delay on admission during COVID-19 (pinteraction = 0.65). Every one-hour delay in IVT was also associated with 7% lower odds of being discharged to home or acute inpatient rehabilitation facility (aOR 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.97, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Treatment delays observed during the COVID-19 pandemic led to greater early mortality and hospice care, with a lower probability of discharge to home/rehabilitation facility. There was no effect modification of treatment delay on admission during the pandemic, indicating that treatment delay at any time contributes similarly to these short-term outcomes.

2.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(8): 105806, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has strained the healthcare systems across the world but its impact on acute stroke care is just being elucidated. We hypothesized a major global impact of COVID-19 not only on stroke volumes but also on various aspects of thrombectomy systems. AIMS: We conducted a convenience electronic survey with a 21-item questionnaire aimed to identify the changes in stroke admission volumes and thrombectomy treatment practices seen during a specified time period of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The survey was designed using Qualtrics software and sent to stroke and neuro-interventional physicians around the world who are part of the Global Executive Committee (GEC) of Mission Thrombectomy 2020, a global coalition under the aegis of Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, between April 5th and May 15th, 2020. RESULTS: There were 113 responses to the survey across 25 countries with a response rate of 31% among the GEC members. Globally there was a median 33% decrease in stroke admissions and a 25% decrease in mechanical thrombectomy (MT) procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic period until May 15th, 2020 compared to pre-pandemic months. The intubation policy for MT procedures during the pandemic was highly variable across participating centers: 44% preferred intubating all patients, including 25% of centers that changed their policy to preferred-intubation (PI) from preferred non-intubation (PNI). On the other hand, 56% centers preferred not intubating patients undergoing MT, which included 27% centers that changed their policy from PI to PNI. There was no significant difference in rate of COVID-19 infection between PI versus PNI centers (p=0.60) or if intubation policy was changed in either direction (p=1.00). Low-volume (<10 stroke/month) compared with high-volume stroke centers (>20 strokes/month) were less likely to have neurointerventional suite specific written personal protective equipment protocols (74% vs 88%) and if present, these centers were more likely to report them to be inadequate (58% vs 92%). CONCLUSION: Our data provides a comprehensive snapshot of the impact on acute stroke care observed worldwide during the pandemic. Overall, respondents reported decreased stroke admissions as well as decreased cases of MT with no clear preponderance in intubation policy during MT. DATA ACCESS STATEMENT: The corresponding author will consider requests for sharing survey data. The study was exempt from institutional review board approval as it did not involve patient level data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Global Health/trends , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Care Surveys , Hospitals, High-Volume/trends , Hospitals, Low-Volume/trends , Humans , Infection Control/trends , Intubation, Intratracheal/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Stroke/diagnosis , Time Factors
3.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072792

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unprecedented workflow shifts during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have contributed to delays in acute care delivery, but whether it adversely affected endovascular thrombectomy metrics in acute large vessel occlusion (LVO) is unknown. METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of observational data from 14 comprehensive stroke centers in nine US states with acute LVO. EVT metrics were compared between March to July 2019 against March to July 2020 (primary analysis), and between state-specific pre-peak and peak COVID-19 months (secondary analysis), with multivariable adjustment. RESULTS: Of the 1364 patients included in the primary analysis (51% female, median NIHSS 14 [IQR 7-21], and 74% of whom underwent EVT), there was no difference in the primary outcome of door-to-puncture (DTP) time between the 2019 control period and the COVID-19 period (median 71 vs 67 min, P=0.10). After adjustment for variables associated with faster DTP, and clustering by site, there remained a trend toward shorter DTP during the pandemic (ßadj=-73.2, 95% CI -153.8-7.4, Pp=0.07). There was no difference in DTP times according to local COVID-19 peaks vs pre-peak months in unadjusted or adjusted multivariable regression (ßadj=-3.85, 95% CI -36.9-29.2, P=0.80). In this final multivariable model (secondary analysis), faster DTP times were significantly associated with transfer from an outside institution (ßadj=-46.44, 95% CI -62.8 to - -30.0, P<0.01) and higher NIHSS (ßadj=-2.15, 95% CI -4.2to - -0.1, P=0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In this multi-center study, there was no delay in EVT among patients treated for intracranial occlusion during the COVID-19 era compared with the pre-COVID era.

4.
J Neurointerv Surg ; 13(3): 202-206, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970181

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) results from infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first reported in Wuhan, China in patients suffering from severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome and has now grown into the first pandemic in over 100 years. Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop arterial thrombosis including stroke, myocardial infarction and peripheral arterial thrombosis, all of which result in poor outcomes despite maximal medical, endovascular, and microsurgical treatment compared with non-COVID-19-infected patients. In this review we provide a brief overview of SARS-CoV-2, the infectious agent responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, and describe the mechanisms responsible for COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. Finally, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on ischemic stroke, focusing on large vessel occlusion.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombolytic Therapy/methods , Thrombosis/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19/therapy , China/epidemiology , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thrombolytic Therapy/trends , Thrombosis/therapy
5.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(8): 104988, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-602487

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on stroke care is two-fold direct impact of the infection and indirect impact on non-COVID-19 diseases. Anecdotal evidence and clinical observation suggest that there is a decrease in the number of patients presenting with stroke during the pandemic. We aim to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the utilization of stroke emergency services on a single comprehensive stroke center (CSC). METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospectively maintained database and compared all emergency department (ED) encounters, acute stroke admissions (including TIA), and thrombectomy cases admitted in March 2017-2019 to patients admitted in March 2020 at a comprehensive stroke center. RESULTS: Number of total ED encounters (22%, p=0.005), acute ischemic strokes (40%, p=0.001), and TIAs (60%, p=0.163) decreased between March of 2017-2019 compared to March of 2020. The number of patients undergoing EVT in March 2020 was comparable to March 2017-2019 (p=0.430). CONCLUSION: A pandemic-related stay-at-home policy reduces the utilization of stroke emergency services at a CSC. This effect appears to be more prominent for ED encounters, all stroke admissions and TIAs, and less impactful for severe strokes. Given the relatively low prevalence of COVID-19 cases in our region, this decrement is likely related to healthcare seeking behavior rather than capacity saturation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Emergency Medical Services/trends , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Needs Assessment/trends , Neurology/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/therapy , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Databases, Factual , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Pandemics , Pennsylvania/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors
6.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(9): 105010, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-548353

ABSTRACT

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients require frequent neurological examinations, neuroradiographic diagnostic testing and lengthy intensive care unit stay. Previously established SAH treatment protocols are impractical to impossible to adhere to in the current COVID-19 crisis due to the need for infection containment and shortage of critical care resources, including personal protective equipment (PPE). Centers need to adopt modified protocols to optimize SAH care and outcomes during this crisis. In this opinion piece, we assembled a multidisciplinary, multicenter team to develop and propose a modified guidance algorithm that optimizes SAH care and workflow in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance is to be adapted to the available resources of a local institution and does not replace clinical judgment when faced with an individual patient.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Pathways/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/therapy , Algorithms , COVID-19 , Clinical Protocols , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health , Pandemics , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/diagnosis , Virulence , Workflow
7.
Front Neurol ; 11: 468, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381222

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has led to immense strain on healthcare systems and workers. Patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 may also present with acute neurological emergencies such as ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke in these patients may result from COVID-19 related complications or decompensation of previously asymptomatic cerebrovascular disorders, or concurrent ischemic stroke from common stroke risk factors in a patient with COVID-19. Acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusions require emergent triage, intensive care, and mechanical thrombectomy. Management of patients with large vessel occlusions (LVO) requires special considerations in the current pandemic. Physicians must now account for prognosis of severe COVID-19, resource utilization, and risk of infection to healthcare workers when determining eligibility for mechanical thrombectomy (MT). Here, we describe important prognostic factors including age, laboratory, and imaging findings to consider for MT selection and provide suggestions for taking care of patients with LVO and possible or confirmed COVID-19. It is recommended to perform MT in patients within the established guidelines, and consider a conservative approach in cases where there is clinical equipoise to minimize futile reperfusion. Lastly, we describe an illustrative case of a patient with ischemic stroke and COVID-19.

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