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Intern Emerg Med ; 16(5): 1247-1252, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1074491


Since the end of February 2020, Italy has suffered one of the most severe outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, what happened just before the Italian index case has not yet been investigated. To answer this question, we evaluated the potential impact of COVID-19 on the clinical features of a cohort of neurological inpatients admitted right before the Italian index case, as compared to the same period of the previous year. Demographic, clinical, treatment and laboratory data were extracted from medical records. The data collected included all inpatients who had been admitted to the Neurology and Stroke Units of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy, from December 15, 2018 to February 20, 2019 and from December 15, 2019 to February 20, 2020. Of the 248 patients, 97 subjects (39.1%) were admitted for an acute cerebrovascular event: 46 in the 2018/2019 period (mean [SD] age, 72.3 [15.6] years; 22 men [47.8%]), and 51 in the 2019/2020 interval (mean [SD] age, 72.8 [12.4] years; 24 men [47.1%]). The number of cryptogenic strokes has increased during the 2019-2020 year, as compared to the previous year (30 [58.8%] vs. 18 [39.1%], p = 0.05). These patients had a longer hospitalization (mean [SD] day, 15.7 [10.5] days vs. mean [SD] day, 11.7 [7.2] days, p = 0.03) and more frequent cerebrovascular complications (9 [30.0%] vs. 2 [11.1%]), but presented a lower incidence of cardiocerebral risk factors (18 [60.0%] vs. 14 [77.8%]). Right before the Italian index case, an increase in cryptogenic strokes has occurred, possibly due to the concomitant COVID-19.

Ischemic Stroke/classification , Ischemic Stroke/complications , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Analysis of Variance , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chi-Square Distribution , Cohort Studies , Contact Tracing/methods , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
Acta Myol ; 39(2): 57-66, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719952


INTRODUCTION: Since February 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy has forced the health care system to undergo profound rearrangements in its services and facilities, especially in the worst-hit areas in Northern Italy. In this setting, inpatient and outpatient services had to rethink and reorganize their activities to meet the needs of patients during the "lockdown". The Italian Association of Myology developed a survey to estimate the impact of these changes on patients affected by neuromuscular disorders and on specialized neuromuscular centers during the acute phase of COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We developed an electronic survey that was sent to neuromuscular centers affiliated with the Italian Association of Myology, assessing changes in pharmacological therapies provision, outpatient clinical and instrumental services, support services (physiotherapy, nursing care, psychological support) and clinical trials. RESULTS: 40% of surveyed neuromuscular centers reported a reduction in outpatient visit and examinations (44.5% of centers in Northern regions; 25% of centers in Central regions; 50% of centers in Southern regions). Twenty-two% of centers postponed in-hospital administration of therapies for neuromuscular diseases (23.4% in Northern regions; 13.0% in Central regions; 20% in Southern regions). Diagnostic and support services (physiotherapy, nursing care, psychological support) were suspended in 57% of centers (66/43/44% in Northern, Central and Southern centers respectively) Overall, the most affected services were rehabilitative services and on-site outpatient visits, which were suspended in 93% of centers. Strategies adopted by neuromuscular centers to overcome these changes included maintaining urgent on-site visits, addressing patients to available services and promoting remote contact and telemedicine. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant disruption of clinical and support services for patients with neuromuscular diseases. Despite the efforts to provide telemedicine consults to patients, this option could be promoted and improved further. A close collaboration between the different neuromuscular centers and service providers as well as further implementation of telehealth platforms are necessary to ensure quality care to NMD patients in the near future and in case of recurrent pandemic waves.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Neuromuscular Diseases/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires