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

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/therapy , Thrombolytic Therapy , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Reperfusion , Time-to-Treatment
2.
Eur Stroke J ; 5(3): 222-229, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-679995

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To analyse structural and non-structural modifications of acute stroke care pathways undertaken at healthcare institutions across the regions of Italy due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: Research on National decrees specific for the pandemic was carried out. The stroke pathways of four Italian regions from North to South, such as Lombardy, Veneto, Lazio and Campania, were analysed before and after the pandemic outbreak. FINDINGS: On 29 February 2020, the Italian Minister of Health issued national guidelines on how to address the COVID-19 emergency. Stroke management was affected and required changes, basically resulting in the need to prioritise the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. In the most affected regions, the closure of departments and hospitals led to a complete reorganisation of previously functioning stroke networks. With the closure of several Stroke Units and Stroke Centres, the transportation time to hospital lengthened significantly, especially for the outlying populations. DISCUSSION: The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has been spreading rapidly in Italy and placing an overwhelming burden on healthcare systems. In response to this, political and healthcare decision-makers worked together to develop and implement efforts to sustain the national healthcare system while fighting the pandemic. Stroke care pathways changed during the pandemic and different organisational models were applied in the most affected regions. CONCLUSIONS: Stroke treatment pathways will need to be redesigned so to guarantee that severe and acute disease patients do not lose their rights to the access and delivery of care during the COVID-19 pandemics.

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