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1.
BMC Cardiovasc Disord ; 22(1): 242, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865278

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak represents a significant challenge to international health. Several studies have reported a substantial decrease in the number of patients attending emergency departments with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and there has been a concomitant rise in early mortality or complications during the COVID-19 pandemic. A modified management system that emphasizes nearby treatment, safety, and protection, alongside a closer and more effective multiple discipline collaborative team was developed by our Chest Pain Center at an early stage of the pandemic. It was therefore necessary to evaluate whether the newly adopted management strategies improved the clinical outcomes of ACS patients in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Patients admitted to our Chest Pain Center from January 25th to April 30th, 2020 based on electronic data in the hospitals ACS registry, were included in the COVID-19 group. Patients admitted during the same period (25 January to 30 April) in 2019 were included in the pre-COVID-19 group. The characteristics and clinical outcomes of the ACS patients in the COVID-19 period group were compared with those of the ACS patients in the pre-COVID-19 group. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify the risk factors associated with clinical outcomes. RESULTS: The number of patients presenting to the Chest Pain Center was reduced by 45% (p = 0.01) in the COVID-19 group, a total of 223 ACS patients were included in the analysis. There was a longer average delay from the onset of symptom to first medical contact (FMC) (1176.9 min vs. 625.2 min, p = 0.001) in the COVID-19 period group compared to the pre-COVID-19 group. Moreover, immediate percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (80.1% vs. 92.3%, p = 0.008) was performed less frequently on ACS patients in the COVID-19 group compared to the pre-COVID-19 group. However, more ACS patients received thrombolytic therapy (5.8% vs. 0.6%, p = 0.0052) in the COVID-19 group than observed in the pre-COVID-19 group. Interestingly, clinical outcome did not worsen in the COVID-19 group when cardiogenic shock, sustained ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation or use of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) were compared against the pre-COVID-19 group (13.5% vs. 11.6%, p = 0.55). Only age was independently associated with composite clinical outcomes (HR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.12-1.50, p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: This retrospective study showed that the adverse outcomes were not different during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to historical control data, suggesting that newly adopted management strategies might provide optimal care for ACS patients. Larger sample sizes and longer follow-up periods on this issue are needed in the future.


Subject(s)
Acute Coronary Syndrome , COVID-19 , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention , Acute Coronary Syndrome/diagnosis , Acute Coronary Syndrome/epidemiology , Acute Coronary Syndrome/therapy , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies
2.
BMC Emerg Med ; 22(1): 57, 2022 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840948

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, reports emerged on decreasing emergency department (ED) visits in many countries. Patients experiencing chest pain was no exception. The aim of the current study was to describe how the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequential lockdown impacted the chest pain population in a Norwegian ED. METHODS: All patients presenting to the ED with chest pain during the study period were included. Data were collected retrospectively from the time period January 6th to August 30th, 2020, and compared to the corresponding period in 2019, assessing variations in the number of ED visits, severity, gender, and age. RESULTS: Fewer patients with chest pain were seen in the ED following the national lockdown in Norway, compared to the corresponding 2019 period (week 13: 38% fewer; weeks 11-27: 16% fewer). By week 28, the rate normalized compared to 2019 levels. There was a relative increase in lower acuity patients among these patients, while fewer moderate acuity patients were seen. During the initial period following lockdown, the median age was lower compared to the corresponding 2019 period (58 years (IQR 25) vs 62 years (IQR 24), respectively). Admissions due to acute coronary syndromes (ACS) remained proportionally stable. CONCLUSIONS: Succeeding the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent national lockdown in Norway, fewer chest pain patients presented to the ED. Paradoxically, the patients seemed to be less severely ill and were on average younger compared to 2019 data. However, the proportion of patients admitted with ACS was stable during this period. This could imply that some patients may have failed to seek medical advice despite experiencing a myocardial infarction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
3.
Int J Med Inform ; 161: 104726, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702743

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid adoption of novel telemedicine programs within the emergency department (ED) to minimize provider exposure and conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). In this study, we sought to assess how the adoption of telemedicine in the ED impacted clinical order patterns for patients with chest pain. We hypothesize that clinicians would rely more on imaging and laboratory workup for patients receiving telemedicine due to limitation in physical exams. METHODS: A single-center, retrospective, propensity score matched study was designed for patients presenting with chest pain at an ED. The study period was defined between April 1st, 2020 and September 30th, 2020. The frequency of the most frequent lab, imaging, and medication orders were compared. In addition, poisson regression analysis was performed to compare the overall number of orders between the two groups. RESULTS: 455 patients with chest pain who received telemedicine were matched to 455 similar patients without telemedicine with standardized mean difference < 0.1 for all matched covariates. The proportion of frequent lab, imaging, and medication orders were similar between the two groups. However, telemedicine patients received more orders overall (RR, 1.19, 95% CI, 1.11, 1.28, p-value < 0.001) as well as more imaging, lab, and nursing orders. The number of medication orders between the two groups remained similar. CONCLUSIONS: Frequent labs, imaging, and medications were ordered in similar proportions between the two cohorts. However, telemedicine patients had more orders placed overall. This study is an important objective assessment of the impact that telemedicine has upon clinical practice patterns and can guide future telemedicine implementation after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Chest Pain/diagnosis , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Chest Pain/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23959, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585800

ABSTRACT

Evidence that patients may avoid healthcare facilities for fear of COVID-19 infection has heightened the concern that true rates of myocardial infarctions have been under-ascertained and left untreated. We analyzed data from the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) and incident COVID-19 infections across the United States (US) between January 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Grouping events by US Census Division, multivariable adjusted negative binomial regression models were utilized to estimate the relationship between COVID-19 and EMS cardiovascular activations. After multivariable adjustment, increasing COVID-19 rates were associated with less activations for chest pain and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarctions. Simultaneously, increasing COVID-19 rates were associated with more activations for cardiac arrests, ventricular fibrillation, and ventricular tachycardia. Although direct effects of COVID-19 infections may explain these discordant observations, these findings may also arise from patients delaying or avoiding care for myocardial infarction, leading to potentially lethal consequences.


Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Chest Pain/etiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Non-ST Elevated Myocardial Infarction/genetics , United States/epidemiology
5.
Lung ; 199(3): 249-253, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227841

ABSTRACT

This multicenter study presents prevalence data and associated risk factors of post-COVID-19 cough one year after hospital discharge in COVID-19 survivors. Individuals recovered from COVID-19 at three public hospitals in Madrid (Spain) were scheduled for a telephonic interview. They were systematically asked about the presence of respiratory symptoms, e.g., fatigue, dyspnea, chest pain, and cough after hospital discharge. Clinical and hospitalization data were collected from hospital records. Overall, 1,950 patients (47% women, mean age:61, SD:16 years) were assessed at 11.2 months (SD 0.5) after hospital discharge. Just 367 (18.8%) were completely free of any respiratory post-COVID -19 symptom. The prevalence of long-term cough, chest pain, dyspnea, and fatigue was 2.5%, 6.5%, 23.3%, and 61.2%, respectively. Clinical and hospitalization factors were not associated with long-term post-COVID-19 cough. In conclusion, the prevalence of post-COVID-19 cough one year after SARS-CoV-2 infection was 2.5% in subjects who had survived hospitalization for COVID-19. No clear risk factor associated to long-term post-COVID-19 cough was identified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cough/epidemiology , Cough/virology , Aged , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Chest Pain/virology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/virology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/virology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Time Factors
6.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249389, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167113

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Emergency Department (ED) attendances with chest pain reduced during the COVID-19 lockdown. We performed a service evaluation project in NHS Lothian to explore how and why the COVID-19 pandemic and public health advice had affected chest pain presentations and help-seeking behaviour at an individual patient level using a qualitative interview approach. METHODS: We carried out 28 semi-structured telephone interviews with a convenience sample of patients who presented with chest pain during lockdown and in patients with known coronary heart disease under the outpatient care of a cardiologist in April and May 2020. Interviews were audio recorded and voice files listened to while making detailed notes. Salient themes and issues were documented as verbatim extracts. Interviews were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Patient interviews revealed three main themes. 1) pandemic help-seeking behaviour; describing how participants made the decision to seek professional healthcare assessment. 2) COVID-19 exposure concerns; describing how the subthemes of perceived vulnerability, wishing to protect others and adding pressure to the health service shaped their decision making for an episode of acute chest pain. 3) hospital experience; describing the difference between the imagined and actual experience in hospital. CONCLUSIONS: Qualitative interviews revealed how the pandemic shaped help-seeking practices, how patients interpreted their personal vulnerability to the virus, and described patient experience of attending hospital for assessment during this time. As patient numbers presenting to hospital appeared to mirror public health messaging, dynamic monitoring of this messaging should evaluate public response to healthcare campaigns to ensure the net impact on health, pandemic and non-pandemic related, is optimised.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Help-Seeking Behavior , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Qualitative Research , Quarantine , Scotland , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
Open Heart ; 8(1)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140343

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: CT coronary angiography (CTCA) is a well-validated clinical tool in the evaluation of chest pain. In our institution, CTCA availability was increased in January 2020, and subsequently, expanded further to replace all exercise testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our objective was to assess the impact of increased utilisation of CTCA on length of stay in patients presenting with chest pain in the prepandemic era and during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Study design was retrospective. Patients referred for cardiology review between October 2019 and May 2020 with chest pain and/or dyspnoea were broken into three cohorts: a baseline cohort, a cohort with increased CTCA availability and a cohort with increased CTCA availability, but after the national lockdown due to COVID-19. Coronary angiography and revascularisation, length of stay and 30-day adverse outcomes were assessed. RESULTS: 513 patients (35.3% female) presented over cohorts 1 (n=179), 2 (n=182), and 3 (n=153). CTCA use increased from 7.8% overall in cohort 1% to 20.4% in cohort 3. Overall length of stay for the patients undergoing CTCA decreased from a median of 4.2 days in cohort 1 to 2.5 days in cohort 3, with no increase in 30 days adverse outcomes. Invasive coronary angiogram rates were 45.8%, 39% and 34.2% across the cohorts. 29.6% underwent revascularisation in cohort 1, 15.9% in cohort 2 and to 16.4% in cohort 3. CONCLUSIONS: Increased CTCA availability was associated with a significantly reduced length of stay both pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 lockdown, without any increase in 30-day adverse outcomes.


Subject(s)
Acute Pain/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/diagnosis , Computed Tomography Angiography/methods , Coronary Angiography/methods , Emergency Service, Hospital , Inpatients , Acute Pain/epidemiology , Aged , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Chron Respir Dis ; 18: 14799731211002240, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138509

ABSTRACT

Knowledge on the sequelae of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains limited due to the relatively recent onset of this pathology. However, the literature on other types of coronavirus infections prior to COVID-19 reports that patients may experience persistent symptoms after discharge. To determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in survivors of hospital admission after COVID-19 infection. A living systematic review of five databases was performed in order to identify studies which reported the persistence of respiratory symptoms in COVID-19 patients after discharge. Two independent researchers reviewed and analysed the available literature, and then extracted and assessed the quality of those articles. Of the 1,154 reports returned by the initial search nine articles were found, in which 1,816 patients were included in the data synthesis. In the pooled analysis, we found a prevalence of 0.52 (CI 0.38-0.66, p < 0.01, I 2 = 97%), 0.37 (CI 0.28-0.48, p < 0.01, I 2 = 93%), 0.16 (CI 0.10-0.23, p < 0.01, I 2 = 90%) and 0.14 (CI 0.06-0.24, p < 0.01, I 2 = 96%) for fatigue, dyspnoea, chest pain, and cough, respectively. Fatigue, dyspnoea, chest pain, and cough were the most prevalent respiratory symptoms found in 52%, 37%, 16% and 14% of patients between 3 weeks and 3 months, after discharge in survivors of hospital admission by COVID-19, respectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Cough/epidemiology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Fatigue/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/physiopathology , Cough/physiopathology , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Fatigue/physiopathology , Humans , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Survivors
9.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(3): e211085, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125122

ABSTRACT

Importance: Solid estimates of the risk of developing symptoms and of progressing to critical disease in individuals infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are key to interpreting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) dynamics, identifying the settings and the segments of the population where transmission is more likely to remain undetected, and defining effective control strategies. Objective: To estimate the association of age with the likelihood of developing symptoms and the association of age with the likelihood of progressing to critical illness after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study analyzed quarantined case contacts, identified between February 20 and April 16, 2020, in the Lombardy region of Italy. Contacts were monitored daily for symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection, by either real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction using nasopharyngeal swabs or retrospectively via IgG serological assays. Close contacts of individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were selected as those belonging to clusters (ie, groups of contacts associated with an index case) where all individuals were followed up for symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Data were analyzed from February to June 2020. Exposure: Close contact with individuals with confirmed COVID-19 cases as identified by contact tracing operations. Main Outcomes and Measures: Age-specific estimates of the risk of developing respiratory symptoms or fever greater than or equal to 37.5 °C and of experiencing critical disease (defined as requiring intensive care or resulting in death) in SARS-CoV-2-infected case contacts. Results: In total, 5484 case contacts (median [interquartile range] age, 50 [30-61] years; 3086 female contacts [56.3%]) were analyzed, 2824 of whom (51.5%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (median [interquartile range] age, 53 [34-64] years; 1604 female contacts [56.8%]). The proportion of infected persons who developed symptoms ranged from 18.1% (95% CI, 13.9%-22.9%) among participants younger than 20 years to 64.6% (95% CI, 56.6%-72.0%) for those aged 80 years or older. Most infected contacts (1948 of 2824 individuals [69.0%]) did not develop respiratory symptoms or fever greater than or equal to 37.5 °C. Only 26.1% (95% CI, 24.1%-28.2%) of infected individuals younger than 60 years developed respiratory symptoms or fever greater than or equal to 37.5 °C; among infected participants older than 60 years, 6.6% (95% CI, 5.1%-8.3%) developed critical disease. Female patients were 52.7% (95% CI, 24.4%-70.7%) less likely than male patients to develop critical disease after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions and Relevance: In this Italian cohort study of close contacts of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, more than one-half of individuals tested positive for the virus. However, most infected individuals did not develop respiratory symptoms or fever. The low proportion of children and young adults who developed symptoms highlights the possible challenges in readily identifying SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Cough/epidemiology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Fever/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Chest Pain/physiopathology , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Cough/physiopathology , Critical Illness , Disease Progression , Dyspnea/physiopathology , Female , Fever/physiopathology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Pharyngitis/physiopathology , Quarantine , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Tachypnea/epidemiology , Tachypnea/physiopathology , Young Adult
10.
Health Policy ; 124(12): 1333-1339, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910332

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The increase in access to Emergency Departments (ED) worldwide causes inefficiencies, but also signals its importance. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak allows to study the reactions of patients to the news about the spreading of the infection, which may have generated the fear that ED was no longer safe. METHODS: We study access to ED of a large teaching hospital in Brescia - one of the most hit provinces in Italy by Covid-19 - during the pandemic (from the announcement of the first cases to the explosion of the pandemic, to months after end of the acute phase) to study how patients reacted to the news that ED could no longer be a safe place. We analyse triage code, mode of arrival to ED, and accesses related to chest and abdominal pain, to evaluate who was discouraged most. RESULTS: Accesses have drastically reduced immediately after the news of the first contagion. During the lockdown accesses and admissions to hospital ward have decreased; this may mean that some patients may have suffered reduced health or increased mortality risks because of this decision. At the end of June accesses to ED and admissions to hospital ward are still lower than usual. DISCUSSION: Fear of contagion and appeals not to use ED directly by Covid-19 patients may have discouraged access also for pressing health need.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Fear , Pandemics , Abdominal Pain/epidemiology , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Triage/organization & administration
11.
Am Heart J ; 231: 157-159, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-812437

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a reduction in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction. This manuscript presents the analysis of Google Trends meta-data and shows a marked spike in search volume for chest pain that is strongly correlated with COVID-19 case numbers in the United States. This raises a concern that fear of contracting COVID-19 may be leading patients to self-triage using internet searches.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chest Pain , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Diagnostic Self Evaluation , Internet Use/statistics & numerical data , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Chest Pain/diagnosis , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Chest Pain/psychology , Correlation of Data , Fear , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , United States/epidemiology
13.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 109(12): 1469-1475, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We sought to determine structure and changes in organisation and bed capacities of certified German chest pain units (CPU) in response to the emergency plan set-up as a response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. METHODS AND RESULTS: The study was conducted in the form of a standardised telephone interview survey in certified German CPUs. Analyses comprised the overall setting of the CPU, bed capacities, possibilities for ventilation, possible changes in organisation and resources, chest pain patient admittance, overall availability of CPUs and bail-out strategies. The response rate was 91%. Nationwide, CPU bed capacities decreased by 3% in the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic response, exhibiting differences within and between the federal states. Pre-pandemic and pandemic bed capacities stayed below 1 CPU bed per 50,000 inhabitants. 97% of CPUs were affected by internal reorganisation pandemic plans at variable extent. While we observed a decrease of CPU beds within an emergency room (ER) set-up and on intermediate care units (ICU), beds in units being separated from ER and ICU were even increased in numbers. CONCLUSIONS: Certified German CPUs are able to maintain adequate coverage for chest pain patients in COVID-19 pandemic despite structural changes. However, at this time, it appears important to add operating procedures during pandemic outbreaks to the certification criteria of forthcoming guidelines either at the individual CPU level or more centrally steered by the German Cardiac Society or the European Society of Cardiology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Cardiology Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Chest Pain/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Health Services Needs and Demand/organization & administration , Hospital Bed Capacity , Hospitalization , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/diagnosis , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Needs Assessment
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