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J Clin Med Res ; 13(3): 184-190, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175792


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality has waned significantly over time; however, factors contributing towards this reduction largely remain unidentified. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the trend in mortality at our large tertiary academic health system and factors contributing to this trend. METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study of intensive care unit (ICU) patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and August 2020 admitted across 14 hospitals in the Philadelphia area. Collected data included demographics, comorbidities, admission risk of mortality score, laboratory values, medical interventions, survival outcomes, hospital and ICU length of stay (LOS) and discharge disposition. Chi-square (χ2) test, Fisher exact test, Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel method, multinomial logistic regression models, independent sample t-test, Mann-Whitney U test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used. RESULTS: A total of 1,204 patients were included. Overall mortality was 39%. Mortality declined significantly from 46% in March to 14% in August 2020 (P < 0.05). The most common underlying comorbidities were hypertension (60.2%), diabetes mellitus (44.7%), dyslipidemia (31.6%) and congestive heart failure (14.7%). Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) use was more commonly associated with the patients who died, while the use of remdesivir, tocilizumab, steroids and duration of these medications were not significantly different. Peak values of ferritin, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), C-reactive protein (CRP) and D-dimer levels were significantly higher in patients who died (P < 0.05). The mean hospital LOS was significantly longer in the patients who survived compared to the patients who died (18 vs. 12, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The mortality of patients admitted to our ICU system significantly decreased over time. Factors that may have contributed to this may be the result of a better understanding of COVID-19 pathophysiology and treatments. Further research is needed to elucidate the factors contributing to a reduction in the mortality rate for this patient population.

Telemed J E Health ; 27(2): 227-230, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-671545


Background and Purpose: As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be a global pandemic, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that incidence of diseases that require emergent care, particularly myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke, has declined rapidly. The objective of this study is to quantify our experience of telestroke (TS) consults at a large tertiary comprehensive stroke center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed TS consults of patients presenting to our neuroscience network. Those with a confirmed diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemia attack were included. Data were compared from April 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, which include consults prepandemic and during the crisis. Results: A total of 1,982 TS consults were provided in 1 year. Prepandemic, the mean monthly consults were 148. In April 2020, only 59 patients were seen (49% decline). Mobile stroke unit consults decreased by 72% in the same month. The 30-day moving average of patients seen per day was between five and six prepandemic declined to between two and three in April, and then began to uptrend during May. The mean percentage of patients receiving intravenous tissue plasminogen activator was 16% from April 2019 to March 2020 and increased to 31% in April 2020. The mean percentage of patients receiving endovascular therapy was 10% from April 2019 to March 2020 and increased to 19% in April 2020. Conclusions: At our large tertiary comprehensive stroke center, we observed a significant and rapid decline in TS consults during the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot be certain of the reasons for the decline, but a fear of contracting coronavirus, social distancing, and isolation likely played a major role. Further research must be done to elucidate the etiology of this decline.

Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Stroke , Telemedicine/trends , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/therapeutic use
J Clin Neurosci ; 79: 60-66, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635053


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that causes flu-like symptoms. There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that both the central and peripheral nervous systems can be affected by SARS-CoV-2, including stroke. We present three cases of arterial ischemic strokes and one venous infarction from a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in the setting of COVID-19 infection who otherwise had low risk factors for stroke. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients presenting to a large tertiary care academic US hospital with stroke and who tested positive for COVID-19. Medical records were reviewed for demographics, imaging results and lab findings. RESULTS: There were 3 cases of arterial ischemic strokes and 1 case of venous stroke: 3 males and 1 female. The mean age was 55 (48-70) years. All arterial strokes presented with large vessel occlusions and had mechanical thrombectomy performed. Two cases presented with stroke despite being on full anticoagulation. CONCLUSIONS: It is important to recognize the neurological manifestations of COVID-19, especially ischemic stroke, either arterial or venous in nature. Hypercoagulability and the cytokine surge are perhaps the cause of ischemic stroke in these patients. Further studies are needed to understand the role of anticoagulation in these patients.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Stroke/etiology , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/diagnostic imaging