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JAMIA Open ; 4(3): ooab053, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522231


BACKGROUND: The emergence of COVID-19 resulted in postponement of nonemergent surgical procedures for cardiac patients in London. mHealth represented a potentially viable mechanism for highlighting deteriorating patients on the lengthened cardiac surgical waiting lists. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the deployment of a digital health solution to support continuous triaging of patients on a cardiac surgical waiting list. METHOD: An NHS trust utilized an app-based mHealth solution (Huma Therapeutics) to help gather vital information on patients awaiting cardiac surgery (valvular and coronary surgery). Patients at a tertiary cardiac center on a waiting list for elective surgery were given the option to be monitored remotely via a mobile app until their date of surgery. Patients were asked to enter their symptoms once a week. The clinical team monitored this information remotely, prompting intervention for those patients who needed it. RESULTS: Five hundred and twenty-five patients were on boarded onto the app. Of the 525 patients using the solution, 51 (9.71%) were identified as at risk of deteriorating based on data captured via the remote patient monitoring platform and subsequently escalated to their respective consultant. 81.7% of patients input at least one symptom after they were on boarded on the platform. DISCUSSION: Although not a generalizable study, this change in practice clearly demonstrates the feasibility and potential benefit digital remote patient monitoring can have in triaging large surgical wait lists, ensuring those that need care urgently receive it. We recommend further study into the potential beneficial outcomes from preoperative cardiac mHealth solutions.

BMC Cardiovasc Disord ; 21(1): 434, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413998


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus-disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic imposed an unprecedented burden on the provision of cardiac surgical services. The reallocation of workforce and resources necessitated the postponement of elective operations in this cohort of high-risk patients. We investigated the impact of this outbreak on the aortic valve surgery activity at a single two-site centre in the United Kingdom. METHODS: Data were extracted from the local surgical database, including the demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of patients operated on from March 2020 to May 2020 with only one of the two sites resuming operative activity and compared with the respective 2019 period. A similar comparison was conducted with the period between June 2020 and August 2020, when operative activity was restored at both institutional sites. The experience of centres world-wide was invoked to assess the efficiency of our services. RESULTS: There was an initial 38.2% reduction in the total number of operations with a 70% reduction in elective cases, compared with a 159% increase in urgent and emergency operations. The attendant surgical risk was significantly higher [median Euroscore II was 2.7 [1.9-5.2] in 2020 versus 2.1 [0.9-3.7] in 2019 (p = 0.005)] but neither 30-day survival nor freedom from major post-operative complications (re-sternotomy for bleeding/tamponade, transient ischemic attack/stroke, renal replacement therapy) was compromised (p > 0.05 for all comparisons). Recommencement of activity at both institutional sites conferred a surgical volume within 17% of the pre-COVID-19 era. CONCLUSIONS: Our institution managed to offer a considerable volume of aortic valve surgical activity over the first COVID-19 outbreak to a cohort of higher-risk patients, without compromising post-operative outcomes. A backlog of elective cases is expected to develop, the accommodation of which after surgical activity normalisation will be crucial to monitor.

Aortic Valve/surgery , COVID-19 , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/trends , Heart Valve Diseases/surgery , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care/trends , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Surgeons/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/adverse effects , Cardiac Surgical Procedures/mortality , Databases, Factual , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Female , Heart Valve Diseases/mortality , Humans , London , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Postoperative Complications/etiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome