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


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.

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
J Neurointerv Surg ; 13(4): 304-307, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013062


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has affected stroke care globally. In this study, we aim to evaluate the impact of the current pandemic on racial disparities among stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT). METHODS: We used the prospectively collected data in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry from 12 thrombectomy-capable stroke centers in the US and Europe. We included acute stroke patients who underwent MT between January 2017 and May 2020. We compared baseline features, vascular risk factors, location of occlusion, procedural metrics, complications, and discharge outcomes between patients presenting before (before February 2020) and those who presented during the pandemic (February to May 2020). RESULTS: We identified 2083 stroke patients: of those 235 (11.3%) underwent MT during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with pre-pandemic, stroke patients who received MT during the pandemic had longer procedure duration (44 vs 38 min, P=0.006), longer length of hospitalization (6 vs 4 days, P<0.001), and higher in-hospital mortality (18.7% vs 11%, P<0.001). Importantly, there was a lower number of African American patients undergoing MT during the COVID-19 pandemic (609 (32.9%) vs 56 (23.8%); P=0.004). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the care process for stroke patients receiving MT globally. There is a significant decline in the number of African American patients receiving MT, which mandates further investigation.

African Americans/ethnology , COVID-19/ethnology , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Pandemics , Stroke/ethnology , Thrombectomy/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Internationality , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Registries , Risk Factors , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome
J Neurointerv Surg ; 12(11): 1039-1044, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742246


BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many centers altered stroke triage protocols for the protection of their providers. However, the effect of workflow changes on stroke patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT) has not been systematically studied. METHODS: A prospective international study was launched at the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. All included centers participated in the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR) and Endovascular Neurosurgery Research Group (ENRG). Data was collected during the peak months of the COVID-19 surge at each site. Collected data included patient and disease characteristics. A generalized linear model with logit link function was used to estimate the effect of general anesthesia (GA) on in-hospital mortality and discharge outcome controlling for confounders. RESULTS: 458 patients and 28 centers were included from North America, South America, and Europe. Five centers were in high-COVID burden counties (HCC) in which 9/104 (8.7%) of patients were positive for COVID-19 compared with 4/354 (1.1%) in low-COVID burden counties (LCC) (P<0.001). 241 patients underwent pre-procedure GA. Compared with patients treated awake, GA patients had longer door to reperfusion time (138 vs 100 min, P=<0.001). On multivariate analysis, GA was associated with higher probability of in-hospital mortality (RR 1.871, P=0.029) and lower probability of functional independence at discharge (RR 0.53, P=0.015). CONCLUSION: We observed a low rate of COVID-19 infection among stroke patients undergoing MT in LCC. Overall, more than half of the patients underwent intubation prior to MT, leading to prolonged door to reperfusion time, higher in-hospital mortality, and lower likelihood of functional independence at discharge.

Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anesthesia, General , COVID-19 , Endovascular Procedures , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Independent Living , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Reperfusion , Thrombectomy/methods , Treatment Outcome , Workflow