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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
Neurol Sci ; 41(12): 3395-3399, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841441


INTRODUCTION: A reduction of the hospitalization and reperfusion treatments was reported during COVID-19 pandemic. However, high variability in results emerged, potentially due to logistic paradigms adopted. Here, we analyze stroke code admissions, hospitalizations, and stroke belt performance for ischemic stroke patients in the metropolitan Bologna region, comparing temporal trends between 2019 and 2020 to define the impact of COVID-19 on the stroke network. METHODS: This retrospective observational study included all people admitted at the Bologna Metropolitan Stroke Center in timeframes 1 March 2019-30 April 2019 (cohort-2019) and 1 March 2020-30 April 2020 (cohort-2020). Diagnosis, treatment strategy, and timing were compared between the two cohorts to define temporal trends. RESULTS: Overall, 283 patients were admitted to the Stroke Center, with no differences in demographic factors between cohort-2019 and cohort-2020. In cohort-2020, transient ischemic attack (TIA) was significantly less prevalent than 2019 (6.9% vs 14.4%, p = .04). Among 216 ischemic stroke patients, moderate-to-severe stroke was more represented in cohort-2020 (17.8% vs 6.2%, p = .027). Similar proportions of patients underwent reperfusion (45.9% in 2019 vs 53.4% in 2020), although a slight increase in combined treatment was detected (14.4% vs 25.4%, p = .05). Door-to-scan timing was significantly prolonged in 2020 compared with 2019 (28.4 ± 12.6 vs 36.7 ± 14.6, p = .03), although overall timing from stroke to treatment was preserved. CONCLUSION: During COVID-19 pandemic, TIA and minor stroke consistently reduced compared to the same timeframe in 2019. Longer stroke-to-call and door-to-scan times, attributable to change in citizen behavior and screening at hospital arrival, did not impact on stroke-to-treatment time. Mothership model might have minimized the effects of the pandemic on the stroke care organization.

Coronavirus Infections , Neurology/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment/trends