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3.
Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(4): 403-405, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318203

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with stroke-like symptoms may be underutilising emergency medical services and avoiding hospitalisation during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated a decline in admissions for stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and emergency department (ED) stroke alert activations. METHODS: We retrospectively compiled total weekly hospital admissions for stroke and TIA between 31 December 2018 and 21 April 2019 versus 30 December 2019 and 19 April 2020 at five US tertiary academic comprehensive stroke centres in cities with early COVID-19 outbreaks in Boston, New York City, Providence and Seattle. We collected available data on ED stroke alerts, stroke severity using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and time from symptom onset to hospital arrival. RESULTS: Compared with 31 December 2018 to 21 April 2019, a decline in stroke/TIA admissions and ED stroke alerts occurred during 30 December 2019 to 19 April 2020 (p trend <0.001 for each). The declines coincided with state stay-at-home recommendations in late March. The greatest decline in hospital admissions was observed between 23 March and 19 April 2020, with a 31% decline compared with the corresponding weeks in 2019. Three of the five centres with 2019 and 2020 stroke alert data had a 46% decline in ED stroke alerts in late March and April 2020, compared with 2019. Median baseline NIHSS during these 4 weeks was 10 in 2020 and 7 in 2019. There was no difference in time from symptom onset to hospital arrival. CONCLUSION: At these five large academic US hospitals, admissions for stroke and TIA declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a trend for fewer ED stroke alerts at three of the five centres with available 2019 and 2020 data. Acute stroke therapies are time-sensitive, so decreased healthcare access or utilisation may lead to more disabling or fatal strokes, or more severe non-neurological complications related to stroke. Our findings underscore the indirect effects of this pandemic. Public health officials, hospital systems and healthcare providers must continue to encourage patients with stroke to seek acute care during this crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Stroke/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Time-to-Treatment , United States/epidemiology
4.
Int J Med Inform ; 152: 104442, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245977

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: When it comes to critical early post-acute TIA/stroke phase, there is a lack of a comprehensive multi-parametric telemonitoring system. The COVID-19 emergency, its related global mobility restrictions and fear of hospitalization further highlighted the need of a comprehensive solution. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to design and test a pragmatic e-Health system based on multiparametric telemonitoring to support of TIA/stroke patients in sub-acute phase during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We proposed a telemonitoring system and protocol for TIA/minor stroke patients during COVID-19 pandemic for patients at risk of stroke recurrence. This system involves the use of portable devices for BP/HR/SpO2/temperature sensing, panic-button, gateway, and a dedicated ICT platform. The protocol is a 14-day multiparametric telemonitoring, therapy, and emergency intervention based on vital sign alteration notifications. We conducted a proof-of-concept validation test on 8 TIA/minor stroke patients in the early post-acute phase (< 14 days from ischemic event). RESULTS: The proposed solution allowed to promptly and remotely identify vital sign alterations at home during the early post-acute phase, allowing therapy and behavioral intervention adjustments. Also, we observed a significant improvement of quality of life, as well as a significant reduction of anxiety and depression status. TUQ showed ease of use, good interface quality and high user satisfaction of the proposed solution. The 3-month follow-up showed total adherence of prescribed therapy and no stroke/TIA recurrence or other emergency department admissions. CONCLUSION: The proposed e-Health solution and telemonitoring protocol may be highly useful for early post-acute remote patient management, thus supporting constant monitoring and patient adherence to the treatment pathway, especially during the COVID-19 emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient , Stroke , Telemedicine , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy
5.
Neurosciences (Riyadh) ; 26(2): 158-162, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170592

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess and quantify the impact COVID-19 has had thus far on ischemic stroke admission rate and severity (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score) at a single tertiary center in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis performed on admitted cases with definitive final diagnoses of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and ischemic stroke at King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah between January 1, 2020 and July 2020. RESULTS: Sixty-nine patients were included in our study, 41 of whom presented at our facility before the pandemic and 29 during the pandemic. No statistical significance was observed between rate of admission, stroke severity, and rate of thrombolysis before the COVID-19 pandemic and after the outbreak. We observed a reduction of mean arrival time after the pandemic began, as well as a reduction of hospital stay days. CONCLUSION: A 29% reduction of admission secondary to acute ischemic stroke was noted during the pandemic. However, COVID-19 did not affect acute stroke care at our institute. The study is limited because of its small sample size, as we assessed just one medical center.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Distribution , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Tertiary Care Centers , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
6.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3456-3460, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072566

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The global COVID-19 pandemic led many stroke centres worldwide to shift from in-person to telemedicine consultations to assess patients with transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs). We aimed to investigate the impact of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic on the management and outcome of the patients with TIA. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed data from a registry of consecutive TIA patients assessed at the Stroke Department, Imperial College Health Care Trust, London, during the national lockdown period (between March 23 2020 and 30 June 2020). As controls, we evaluated the clinical reports and stroke quality metrics of patients presenting to the TIA clinic in the same period of 2019. RESULTS: Between 23 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, 136 patients were assessed using the telemedicine TIA clinic, compared to 180 patients evaluated with face-to-face consultation in the same period in 2019. Patients' characteristics were similar in both groups. At 3 months after the TIA, there were no significant differences in the proportion of patients admitted to the hospital for recurrent TIA/stroke or any other cardiovascular cause from the 2020 period compared to the same period in 2019. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis showed that during the pandemic, our telemedicine consultations of TIA patients were not associated with an increased 3-month rate of recurrent TIA/stroke or cardiovascular hospital admissions. More robust studies looking at this model of care will be needed to assess its long-term effects on patients and health care systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient , Stroke , Telemedicine , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , United Kingdom/epidemiology
7.
Neurol Sci ; 42(4): 1237-1245, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064523

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 outbreak highly impacted the acute ischemic stroke care management. The primary end point of the study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the following lockdown measures on our hub-and-spoke network; the secondary end point was to evaluate if the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak was different in hub-and-spoke centers. METHODS: This was a retrospective multicenter observational study conducted at the Stroke Units of Policlinico Gemelli, Ospedale San Filippo Neri, Ospedale di Belcolle, and Ospedale San Camillo de Lellis. We collected clinical reports of all consecutive patients admitted with diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) during the phase 1 of the lockdown period (11 March 2020-4 May 2020). As controls, we used all consecutive patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke or TIA in the same period of the previous year. RESULTS: A total of 156 and 142 clinical reports were collected in 2019 and 2020, respectively. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we observed a reduction of number of thrombolysis, a reduction of the length of hospitalization, and an increase of pneumonia. Regarding performance indicators, we observed an increase in onset-to-door time and in door-to-groin time. We did not observe any statistically significant interaction between year (2019 vs 2020) and facility of admission (hub vs spoke) on all variables analyzed. DISCUSSION: Our observational study, involving hub-and-spoke stroke network of a wide regional area, indicates that the COVID-19 outbreak impacted on the acute stroke management. This impact was equally observed in hub as well as in spoke centers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Quarantine , Stroke/therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Italy/epidemiology , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data
8.
Stroke ; 51(12): 3746-3750, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We aimed to investigate the rate of hospital admissions for cerebrovascular events and of revascularization treatments for acute ischemic stroke in Italy during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. METHODS: The Italian Stroke Organization performed a multicenter study involving 93 Italian Stroke Units. We collected information on hospital admissions for cerebrovascular events from March 1 to March 31, 2020 (study period), and from March 1 to March 31, 2019 (control period). RESULTS: Ischemic strokes decreased from 2399 in 2019 to 1810 in 2020, with a corresponding hospitalization rate ratio (RR) of 0.75 ([95% CI, 0.71-0.80] P<0.001); intracerebral hemorrhages decreased from 400 to 322 (hospitalization RR, 0.81 [95% CI, 0.69-0.93]; P=0.004), and transient ischemic attacks decreased from 322 to 196 (hospitalization RR, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.51-0.73]; P<0.001). Hospitalizations decreased in Northern, Central, and Southern Italy. Intravenous thrombolyses decreased from 531 (22.1%) in 2019 to 345 in 2020 (19.1%; RR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.75-0.99]; P=0.032), while primary endovascular procedures increased in Northern Italy (RR, 1.61 [95% CI, 1.13-2.32]; P=0.008). We found no correlation (P=0.517) between the hospitalization RRs for all strokes or transient ischemic attack and COVID-19 incidence in the different areas. CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalizations for stroke or transient ischemic attacks across Italy were reduced during the worst period of the COVID-19 outbreak. Intravenous thrombolytic treatments also decreased, while endovascular treatments remained unchanged and even increased in the area of maximum expression of the outbreak. Limited hospitalization of the less severe patients and delays in hospital admission, due to overcharge of the emergency system by COVID-19 patients, may explain these data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cerebral Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Endovascular Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged
9.
Stroke ; 52(2): 716-721, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999364

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many countries have introduced strict hygiene measures of social distancing to prevent further spreading of the disease. This may have led to a decreased presentation to hospital of patients with acute medical conditions and time-dependent management, such as stroke. METHODS: We conducted a nationwide cohort study using administrative database of all hospitalized patients with main diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke (AIS), transient ischemic attack, or intracerebral hemorrhage. Data from a total of 1463 hospitals in Germany were included. We compared case numbers and treatment characteristics of pandemic (March 16 to May 15, 2020) and prepandemic (January 16 to March 15, 2020) cases and also with corresponding time period in 2019. RESULTS: We identified a strong decline for hospitalization of AIS (-17.4%), transient ischemic attack (-22.9%), and intracerebral hemorrhage (-15.8%) patients during the pandemic compared with prepandemic period. IVT rate in patients with AIS was comparable (prepandemic versus pandemic: 16.4% versus 16.6%, P=0.448), whereas mechanical thrombectomy rate was significantly higher during the pandemic (8.1% versus 7.7%, P=0.044). In-hospital mortality was significantly increased in patients with AIS during the pandemic period (8.1% versus 7.6%, P=0.006). CONCLUSIONS: Besides a massive decrease in absolute case numbers, our data suggest that patients with AIS who did seek acute care during the pandemic, continued to receive acute recanalization treatment in Germany.


Subject(s)
Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/virology , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Germany , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
12.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e041514, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889900

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic is having major implications for stroke care with a documented significant fall in hospital acute stroke admissions. We investigated whether COVID-19 has resulted in a decreased number of referrals to the transient ischaemic attack (TIA) clinics across the North West London region. SETTING AND DESIGN: All the TIA clinical leads of the North West London region received an invitation by email to participate in an online survey in May 2020. The survey questionnaire aimed to assess the number of patients with suspected TIA consecutively referred to each of the TIA clinics of the North West London region between 1 March and 30 April 2020, the COVID-19 period, and between 1 March and 30 April 2019. RESULTS: We had a response rate of 100%. During the COVID-19 period, the TIA clinics of the North West London region received 440 referrals compared with 616 referrals received between 1 March and 30 April 2019 with a fall in the number of the referrals by 28.6%. In April 2020 compared with April 2019, the number of the referrals declined by 40.1%. CONCLUSIONS: This multicentre analysis documented a significant reduction in the number of patients referred with suspected TIA to the specialised rapid access outpatient clinics in the North West London region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies are needed to confirm our findings and to better characterise the incidence of cerebrovascular disease during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Ambulatory Care Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Ischemic Attack, Transient/diagnosis , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , London/epidemiology , Pandemics , Preventive Health Services/methods , Preventive Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Intern Emerg Med ; 16(3): 735-739, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-871550

ABSTRACT

Reduced incidence of stroke during COVID-19 pandemic was sometimes reported. While decrease in stroke incidence and fear of patients to go to the hospitals were sometimes invoked to explain this decrease, reduction in urban pollution was also hypothesized as a possible cause. We investigated statistically the incidence of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and of transient ischemic attacks, at a large Italian tertiary stroke center during the pandemic. We analyzed statistically the number of transient ischemic attacks (TIA), ischemic strokes (IS) and hemorrhagic strokes (HS) between March 8 and May 2, 2020, the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy, and compared them with the identical period of 2019. We also analyzed the concentration of small particulate matter (PM10) in 2019 and 2020, to see if it could account for modified incidence of strokes or TIA. We found a large, significant drop in TIA (- 51%) during the pandemic compared to the same period of 2019. By contrast, the number of HS was identical, and IS showed a not significant - 24% decrease. PM10 concentration, already low in 2019, did not further decrease in 2020. Patients kept seeking hospital care when experiencing permanent neurological symptoms (stroke), but they tended not go to the hospital when their symptoms were transient (TIA). The fact that we did not observe a significant decrease in strokes may be explained by the fact that in our city the concentration of small particulate matter did not change compared to 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Particulate Matter/analysis , Stroke/epidemiology , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Stroke Vasc Neurol ; 5(4): 323-330, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-852719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing guidelines have compelled stroke practices worldwide to reshape their delivery of care significantly. We aimed to illustrate how the stroke services were interrupted during the pandemic in China. METHODS: A 61-item questionnaire designed on Wenjuanxing Form was completed by doctors or nurses who were involved in treating patients with stroke from 1 February to 31 March 2020. RESULTS: A total of 415 respondents completed the online survey after informed consent was obtained. Of the respondents, 37.8%, 35.2% and 27.0% were from mild, moderate and severe epidemic areas, respectively. Overall, the proportion of severe impact (reduction >50%) on the admission of transient ischaemic stroke, acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) and intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) was 45.0%, 32.0% and 27.5%, respectively. Those numbers were 36.9%, 27.9% and 22.3%; 36.5%, 22.1% and 22.6%; and 66.4%, 47.5% and 41.1% in mild, moderate and severe epidemic areas, respectively (all p<0.0001). For AIS, thrombolysis was moderate (20%-50% reduction) or severely impacted (>50%), as reported by 54.4% of the respondents, while thrombectomy was 39.3%. These were 44.4%, 26.3%; 44.2%, 39.4%; and 78.2%, 56.5%, in mild, moderate and severe epidemic areas, respectively (all p<0.0001). For patients with acute ICH, 39.8% reported the impact was severe or moderate for those eligible for surgery who had surgery. Those numbers were 27.4%, 39.0% and 58.1% in mild, moderate and severe epidemic areas, respectively. For staff resources, about 20% (overall) to 55% (severe epidemic) of the respondents reported moderate or severe impact on the on-duty doctors and nurses. CONCLUSION: We found a significant reduction of admission for all types of patients with stroke during the pandemic. Patients were less likely to receive appropriate care, for example, thrombolysis/thrombectomy, after being admitted to the hospital. Stroke service in severe COVID-19 epidemic areas, for example, Wuhan, was much more severely impacted compared with other regions in China.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Cerebral Hemorrhage/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Neurosurgery/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Patient Care Management , Stroke/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data
15.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(11): 105229, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693286

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Concerns have arisen regarding patient access and delivery of acute stroke care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated key population level events on activity of the three hyperacute stroke units (HASUs) within Greater Manchester and East Cheshire (GM & EC), whilst adjusting for environmental factors. METHODS: Weekly stroke admission & discharge counts in the three HASUs were collected locally from Emergency Department (ED) data and Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme core dataset prior to, and during the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic (Jan 2020 to May 2020). Whilst adjusting for local traffic-related air pollution and ambient measurement, an interrupted time-series analysis using a segmented generalised linear model investigated key population level events on the rate of stroke team ED assessments, admissions for stroke, referrals for transient ischaemic attack (TIA), and stroke discharges. RESULTS: The median total number of ED stroke assessments, admissions, TIA referrals, and discharges across the three HASU sites prior to the first UK COVID-19 death were 150, 114, 69, and 76 per week. The stable weekly trend in ED assessments and stroke admissions decreased by approximately 16% (and 21% for TIAs) between first UK hospital COVID-19 death (5th March) and the implementation of the Act-FAST campaign (6th April) where a modest 4% and 5% increase per week was observed. TIA referrals increased post Government intervention (23rd March), without fully returning to the numbers observed in January and February. Trends in discharges from stroke units appeared unaffected within the study period reported here. CONCLUSION: Despite adjustment for environmental factors stroke activity was temporarily modified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlying motivations within the population are still not clear. This raises concerns that patients may have avoided urgent health care risking poorer short and long-term health outcomes.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/trends , Environment , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Ischemic Attack, Transient/diagnosis , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Admission/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation/trends , Risk Factors , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors
16.
Neurologia (Engl Ed) ; 35(6): 363-371, 2020.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612930

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The overload of the healthcare system and the organisational changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may be having an impact on acute stroke care in the Region of Madrid. METHODS: We conducted a survey with sections addressing hospital characteristics, changes in infrastructure and resources, code stroke clinical pathways, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, and outpatient care. We performed a descriptive analysis of results according to the level of complexity of stroke care (availability of stroke units and mechanical thrombectomy). RESULTS: The survey was completed by 22 of the 26 hospitals in the Madrid Regional Health System that attend adult emergencies, between 16 and 27 April 2020. Ninety-five percent of hospitals had reallocated neurologists to care for patients with COVID-19. The numbers of neurology ward beds were reduced in 89.4% of hospitals; emergency department stroke care pathways were modified in 81%, with specific pathways for suspected SARS-CoV2 infection established in 50% of hospitals; and SARS-CoV2-positive patients with acute stroke were not admitted to neurology wards in 42%. Twenty-four hour on-site availability of mechanical thrombectomy was improved in 10 hospitals, which resulted in a reduction in the number of secondary hospital transfers. The admission of patients with transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke was avoided in 45% of hospitals, and follow-up through telephone consultations was implemented in 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The organisational changes made in response to the SARS-Co2 pandemic in hospitals in the Region of Madrid have modified the allocation of neurology department staff and infrastructure, stroke units and stroke care pathways, diagnostic testing, hospital admissions, and outpatient follow-up.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Critical Pathways/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke/therapy , Acute Disease , Ambulatory Care/organization & administration , Appointments and Schedules , Bed Conversion , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Bed Capacity , Hospital Departments/organization & administration , Hospitals, Urban/organization & administration , Hospitals, Urban/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Mechanical Thrombolysis/statistics & numerical data , Neurology/organization & administration , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke Rehabilitation/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data
17.
Stroke ; 51(8): 2315-2321, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596641

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, doctors and public authorities have demonstrated concern about the reduction in quality of care for other health conditions due to social restrictions and lack of resources. Using a population-based stroke registry, we investigated the impact of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in stroke admissions in Joinville, Brazil. METHODS: Patients admitted after the onset of COVID-19 restrictions in the city (defined as March 17, 2020) were compared with those admitted in 2019. We analyzed differences between stroke incidence, types, severity, reperfusion therapies, and time from stroke onset to admission. Statistical tests were also performed to compare the 30 days before and after COVID-19 to the same period in 2019. RESULTS: We observed a decrease in total stroke admissions from an average of 12.9/100 000 per month in 2019 to 8.3 after COVID-19 (P=0.0029). When compared with the same period in 2019, there was a 36.4% reduction in stroke admissions. There was no difference in admissions for severe stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score >8), intraparenchymal hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: The onset of COVID-19 was correlated with a reduction in admissions for transient, mild, and moderate strokes. Given the need to prevent the worsening of symptoms and the occurrence of medical complications in these groups, a reorganization of the stroke-care networks is necessary to reduce collateral damage caused by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Incidence , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/therapy , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Quality of Health Care , Reperfusion , Stroke/therapy , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/epidemiology , Subarachnoid Hemorrhage/therapy
18.
Stroke ; 51(7): 2224-2227, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study aims to assess the number of patients with acute ischemic cerebrovascular events seeking in-patient medical emergency care since the implementation of social distancing measures in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: In this retrospective multicenter study, data on the number of hospital admissions due to acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack and numbers of reperfusion therapies performed in weeks 1 to 15 of 2020 and 2019 were collected in 4 German academic stroke centers. Poisson regression was used to test for a change in admission rates before and after the implementation of extensive social distancing measures in week 12 of 2020. The analysis of anonymized regional mobility data allowed for correlations between changes in public mobility as measured by the number and length of trips taken and hospital admission for stroke/transient ischemic attack. RESULTS: Only little variation of admission rates was observed before and after week 11 in 2019 and between the weeks 1 and 11 of 2019 and 2020. However, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant decrease in the number of admissions for transient ischemic attack was observed (-85%, -46%, -42%) in 3 of 4 centers, while in 2 of 4 centers, stroke admission rates decreased significantly by 40% and 46% after week 12 in 2020. A relevant effect on reperfusion therapies was found for 1 center only (thrombolysis, -60%; thrombectomy, -61%). Positive correlations between number of ischemic events and mobility measures in the corresponding cities were identified for 3 of 4 centers. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate and quantify decreasing hospital admissions due to ischemic cerebrovascular events and suggest that this may be a consequence of social distancing measures, in particular because hospital resources for acute stroke care were not limited during this period. Hence, raising public awareness is necessary to avoid serious healthcare and economic consequences of undiagnosed and untreated strokes and transient ischemic attacks.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Acute Disease , Aged , Brain Ischemia/therapy , COVID-19 , Catchment Area, Health , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals, Special/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Reperfusion/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/therapy
19.
Stroke ; 51(7): 2228-2231, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326924

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents a global public health crisis, disrupting emergency healthcare services. We determined whether COVID-19 has resulted in delays in stroke presentation and affected the delivery of acute stroke services in a comprehensive stroke center in Hong Kong. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients with transient ischemic attack and stroke admitted via the acute stroke pathway of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, during the first 60 days since the first diagnosed COVID-19 case in Hong Kong (COVID-19: January 23, 2020-March 24, 2020). We compared the stroke onset to hospital arrival (onset-to-door) time and timings of inpatient stroke pathways with patients admitted during the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID-19: January 23, 2019-March 24, 2019). RESULTS: Seventy-three patients in COVID-19 were compared with 89 patients in pre-COVID-19. There were no significant differences in age, sex, vascular risk factors, nor stroke severity between the 2 groups (P>0.05). The median stroke onset-to-door time was ≈1-hour longer in COVID-19 compared with pre-COVID-19 (154 versus 95 minutes, P=0.12), and the proportion of individuals with onset-to-door time within 4.5 hours was significantly lower (55% versus 72%, P=0.024). Significantly fewer cases of transient ischemic attack presented to the hospital during COVID-19 (4% versus 16%, P=0.016), despite no increase in referrals to the transient ischemic attack clinic. Inpatient stroke pathways and treatment time metrics nevertheless did not differ between the 2 groups (P>0.05 for all comparisons). CONCLUSIONS: During the early containment phase of COVID-19, we noted a prolongation in stroke onset to hospital arrival time and a significant reduction in individuals arriving at the hospital within 4.5 hours and presenting with transient ischemic attack. Public education about stroke should continue to be reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke/epidemiology , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Acute Disease , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Medical Services , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospitals, Special/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Urban/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Recombinant Proteins/therapeutic use , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/prevention & control , Stroke/therapy , Thrombectomy/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/therapeutic use
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