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1.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 30(8): 105919, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253283

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The characteristics and pathophysiological mechanisms involved in acute ischemic stroke in patients with COVID-19 infection have not been fully clarified. We prospectively studied the phenotypic and etiological features of acute stroke occurring in COVID-19 infection. PATIENTS & METHODS: Within nine months starting from April-2020, the presence of COVID-19 infection was determined by thoracic CT and SARS-CoV-2 PCR in all acute stroke cases managed in a single tertiary center. Consecutive and prospective data on vascular risk factors/comorbidities, in-hospital quality metrics, discharge outcomes, etiological subclassification and blood markers of thrombosis / inflammation were compared in 44 COVID-19 positive cases (37 acute ischemic stroke, 5 TIA, 2 intracerebral hematoma) and 509 COVID-19 negative patients (355 ischemic, 105 TIA, 44 hematoma and 5 stroke mimic). RESULTS: COVID-19 positive patients had more severe strokes, delayed hospital admission, longer hospital stay, higher mortality rates, but had similar vascular risk factors/comorbidities frequency, thrombolysis/thrombectomy utilization rates, metrics, and stroke etiological subtype. They had significantly higher CRP, fibrinogen, ferritin, leukocyte count and lower lymphocyte count. No difference was detected in aPTT, INR, D-dimer, platelet, hemoglobin, homocysteine levels and ANA, anti-dsDNA antibody and ENA panel positivity rates. Anti-phospholipid antibodies have been studied in 70% of COVID-19 positive and all cryptogenic patients, but were never found positive. Tests for coagulation factor levels and hereditary thrombophilia did not show major thrombophilia in any of the stroke patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: We documented that there is no significant difference in etiological spectrum in acute stroke patients with COVID-19 infection. In addition, cryptogenic stroke and antiphospholipid antibody positivity rates did not increase.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hemorrhagic Stroke/etiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/etiology , Ischemic Stroke/etiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hemorrhagic Stroke/diagnosis , Hemorrhagic Stroke/therapy , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Ischemic Attack, Transient/diagnosis , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors
2.
Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg ; 62(1): 119-125, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171631

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A previous study revealed a preliminary trend towards higher in hospital mortality in patients admitted as an emergency with acute stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. The current study aimed to further examine the possible impact of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection on in hospital mortality. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of health insurance claims data from the second largest insurance fund in Germany, BARMER. Patients hospitalised for ST elevation (STEMI) and non-ST elevation (NSTEMI) myocardial infarction, acute limb ischaemia (ALI), aortic rupture, acute stroke, or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) between 1 January 2017, and 31 October 2020, were included. Admission rates per 10 000 insured and mortality were compared between March - June 2017 - 2019 (pre-COVID) and March - June 2020 (COVID). Mortality rates were determined by the occurrence of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: A total of 316 718 hospitalisations were included (48.7% female, mean 72.5 years), and 21 191 (6.7%, 95% CI 6.6% - 6.8%) deaths occurred. In hospital mortality increased during the COVID-19 pandemic when compared with the three previous years for patients with acute stroke from 8.3% (95% CI 8.0 - 8.5) to 9.6% (95% CI 9.1 - 10.2), while no statistically significant changes were observed for STEMI, NSTEMI, ALI, aortic rupture, and TIA. When comparing patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (2.4%, 95% CI 2.3 - 2.5) vs. non-infected patients, a higher in hospital mortality was observed for acute stroke (12.4% vs. 9.0%), ALI (14.3% vs. 5.0%), and TIA (2.7% vs. 0.3%), while no statistically significant differences were observed for STEMI, NSTEMI, and aortic rupture. CONCLUSION: This retrospective analysis of claims data has provided hints of an association between the COVID-19 pandemic and increased in hospital mortality in patients with acute stroke. Furthermore, confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with increased mortality in patients with stroke, TIA, and ALI. Future studies are urgently needed to better understand the underlying mechanism and relationship between the new coronavirus and acute stroke.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Ischemic Attack, Transient/mortality , Peripheral Arterial Disease/mortality , Stroke/mortality , Administrative Claims, Healthcare/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies/epidemiology , Extremities/blood supply , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Ischemic Attack, Transient/complications , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Male , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Peripheral Arterial Disease/complications , Peripheral Arterial Disease/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stroke/complications , Stroke/therapy
3.
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
4.
Cerebrovasc Dis ; 50(3): 310-316, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138469

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: We analyzed whether the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis affected acute stroke care in our center during the first 2 months of lockdown in Spain. METHODS: This is a single-center, retrospective study. We collected demographic, clinical, and radiological data; time course; and treatment of patients meeting the stroke unit admission criteria from March 14 to May 14, 2020 (COVID-19 period group). Data were compared with the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID-19 period group). RESULTS: 195 patients were analyzed; 83 in the COVID-19 period group, resulting in a 26% decline of acute strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) admitted to our center compared with the previous year (p = 0.038). Ten patients (12%) tested positive for PCR SARS-CoV-2. The proportion of patients aged 65 years and over was lower in the COVID-19 period group (53 vs. 68.8%, p = 0.025). During the pandemic period, analyzed patients were more frequently smokers (27.7 vs. 10.7%, p = 0.002) and had less frequently history of prior stroke (13.3 vs. 25%, p = 0.043) or atrial fibrillation (9.6 vs. 25%, p = 0.006). ASPECTS score was lower (9 [7-10] vs. 10 [8-10], p = 0.032), NIHSS score was slightly higher (5 [2-14] vs. 4 [2-8], p = 0.122), onset-to-door time was higher (304 [93-760] vs. 197 [91.25-645] min, p = 0.104), and a lower proportion arrived within 4.5 h from onset of symptoms (43.4 vs. 58%, p = 0.043) during the CO-VID-19 period. There were no differences between proportion of patients receiving recanalization treatment (intravenous thrombolysis and/or mechanical thrombectomy) and in-hospital delays. CONCLUSION: We observed a reduction in the number of acute strokes and TIAs admitted during the COVID-19 period. This drop affected especially elderly patients, and despite a delay in their arrival to the emergency department, the proportion of patients treated with recanalization therapies was preserved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stroke/therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/etiology , Thrombolytic Therapy/methods , Time-to-Treatment
5.
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
6.
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
7.
Neurol Sci ; 42(1): 15-20, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064519

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has changed routine clinical practice worldwide with major impacts on the provision of care and treatment for stroke patients. METHODS: This retrospective observational study included all patients admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, with a stroke or transient ischaemic attack between March 15th and April 14th, 2020 (COVID). Patient demographics, characteristics of the stroke, treatment details and logistics were compared with patients admitted in the corresponding weeks in the year before (2019). RESULTS: There was a 39.5% (n = 101 vs n = 167) reduction in admissions in the COVID cohort compared with 2019 with more severe strokes (median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) 7 vs 4, p = 0.02), and fewer strokes with no visible acute pathology (21.8 vs 37.1%, p = 0.01) on computed tomography. There was no statistically significant difference in the rates of thrombolysis (10.9 vs 13.2%, p = 0.72) and/or thrombectomy (5.9 vs 4.8%, p = 0.90) and no statistically significant difference in time from stroke onset to arrival at hospital (734 vs 576 min, p = 0.34), door-to-needle time for thrombolysis (54 vs 64 min, p = 0.43) and door-to-thrombectomy time (181 vs 445 min, p = 0.72). Thirty-day mortality was not significantly higher in the COVID year (10.9 vs 8.9%, p = 0.77). None of the 7 stroke patients infected with COVID-19 died. CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of stroke admissions fell, and stroke severity increased. There was no statistically significant change in the delivery of thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy and no increase in mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Mechanical Thrombolysis/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Stroke/therapy , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , Thrombolytic Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/drug therapy , Male , Mechanical Thrombolysis/trends , Middle Aged , Patient Admission/trends , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Stroke/drug therapy , Tertiary Care Centers/trends , Thrombolytic Therapy/trends , United Kingdom
10.
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 29(11): 105228, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-718900

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This report aims to describe changes that centres providing transient ischaemic attack (TIA) pathway services have made to stay operational in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. METHODS: An international cross-sectional description of the adaptions of TIA pathways between 30th March and 6th May 2020. Experience was reported from 18 centres with rapid TIA pathways in seven countries (Australia, France, UK, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Italy, Canada) from three continents. RESULTS: All pathways remained active (n = 18). Sixteen (89%) had TIA clinics. Six of these clinics (38%) continued to provide in-person assessment while the majority (63%) used telehealth exclusively. Of these, three reported PPE use and three did not. Five centres with clinics (31%) had adopted a different vascular imaging strategy. CONCLUSION: The COVID pandemic has led TIA clinics around the world to adapt and move to the use of telemedicine for outpatient clinic review and modified investigation pathways. Despite the pandemic, all have remained operational.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Pathways/trends , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/trends , Hospital Rapid Response Team/trends , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Telemedicine/trends , Australia , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diagnostic Imaging/trends , Europe , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/diagnosis , New Zealand , North America , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Time Factors
11.
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
13.
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
14.
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
15.
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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