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Viruses ; 15(5)2023 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232184


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) patients may experience an acute ischemic stroke; however, risk factors, in-hospital deaths, and outcomes have not been thoroughly investigated. This study investigates the risk factors, comorbidities, and outcomes in patients with SARS-VoV-2 infection and acute ischemic stroke compared to patients without these conditions. The present retrospective study was conducted in the King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre (KAIMRC), Ministry of National Guard, Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the period from April 2020 to February 2022. This study investigates the risk variables among the individuals who were diagnosed with either SARS-CoV-2 with stroke or patients with stroke alone. A total of 42,688 COVID-19 patients were registered, 187 cases of strokes were listed in COVID-19 patients, however, 5395 cases with stroke without SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results revealed that factors including age, hypertension, deep vein thrombosis, and ischemic heart disease are associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke. The results also displayed an elevated frequency of in-hospital deaths in COVID-19 patients with acute ischemic stroke. The results also showed that SARS-CoV-2 together predicts the probability of stroke and death in the study sample. The study findings conclude that ischemic strokes were infrequent in patients with SARS-CoV-2 and usually occur in the presence of other risk factors. The risk factors of ischemic strokes in patients with SARS-CoV-2 are old age, male gender, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, DVT, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, the results showed a higher frequency of in-hospital deaths in COVID-19 patients with stroke compared to COVID-19 patients without stroke.

COVID-19 , Hypertension , Ischemic Stroke , Myocardial Ischemia , Stroke , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/complications , Retrospective Studies , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/complications , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/etiology , Risk Factors , Hypertension/complications , Myocardial Ischemia/complications
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 8544, 2023 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235903


Hospital admissions due to acute cardiovascular events dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population; however, evidence for residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF) is sparse. We investigated rates of hospital admissions and deaths due to myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke in LTCF residents during the pandemic. Our nationwide cohort study used claims data. The sample comprised 1,140,139 AOK-ensured LTCF residents over 60 years of age (68.6% women; age 85.3 ± 8.5 years) from the largest statutory health insurance in Germany (AOK), which is not representative for all LTCF residents. We included MI and stroke admission and compared numbers of in-hospital deaths from January 2020 to end of April 2021 (i.e., during the first three waves of the pandemic) with the number of incidences in 2015-2019. To estimate incidence risk ratios (IRR), adjusted Poisson regression analyses were applied. During the observation period (2015-2021), there were 19,196 MI and 73,953 stroke admissions. MI admissions declined in the pandemic phase by 22.5% (IRR = 0.68 [CI 0.65-0.72]) compared to previous years. This decline was slightly more pronounced for NSTEMI than for STEMI. MI fatality risks remained comparable across years (IRR = 0.97 [CI95% 0.92-1.02]). Stroke admissions dropped by 15.1% (IRR = 0.75 [CI95% 0.72-0.78]) in the pandemic. There was an elevated case fatality risk for haemorrhagic stroke (IRR = 1.09 [CI95% 1.03-1.15]) but not for other stroke subtypes compared to previous years. This study provides first evidence of declines in MI and stroke admissions and in-hospital deaths among LTCF residents during the pandemic. The figures are alarming given the acute nature of the conditions and the vulnerability of the residents.

COVID-19 , Myocardial Infarction , Stroke , Humans , Female , Middle Aged , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cohort Studies , Long-Term Care , Hospitalization , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Hospitals
Ideggyogy Sz ; 76(5-6): 197-204, 2023 May 30.
Article in Hungarian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235610


Background and purpose:

 Thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy have been proven effective in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Due to the narrow time window, the number of patients suitable for these treatments is low. The main limitation is the pre-hospital stage, few people call an ambulance in time. The delay may be caused by the population’s insufficient health knowledge, but also by the loneliness and isolation of the population most prone to stroke. Among the latter, there are many grandparents who spend considerable time with their grandchildren. This gave rise to the idea of educating even younger children about the symptoms of a stroke, enabling them to call an ambulance if necessary. To this end, we adapted the Angels Initiative project previously tested in Greece. The Hungarian pilot study Budapest District XII. took place in district kindergartens. The Angels’ original role-playing program could not be implemented due to the COVID epidemic, so the necessity called for a new, Hungarian version: the online “Stroke Ovi” program. We introduced this in several stages, and in the third we also carried out an impact study.

. Methods:

 We adapted the Angels Initiative’s international program and its Hungarian translation to our program. We prepared the original, live role-playing form, with a parent meeting in the selected “test kindergarten”. Due to the uncertainly lingering impact of the COVID epidemic, we reevaluated our plan, using the Hungarian storybook and take-home workbook created in the meantime, we developed our own online version in several kindergartens in Budapest. We held 10 and then 25 minute sessions a week for 5 weeks. In the third educational cycle, which always targets new groups, we already examined the impact of the program by taking pre- and post-tests, in which not only the children but also their parents participated. In addition to neurologists and kindergarten teachers, we also included psychologists and speech therapists in our work, because we believed that in a social environment that includes parents and children, results can only be achieved through multidisciplinary cooperation.

. Results:

 In the third cycle of the program, tests were taken before (pre-test) and after (post-test) among children and their parents. We only took into account those answers where we received an evaluable answer in the survey before and after the program. Our most important results: 1. there was no negative change in any question, so it was not the case that the total score of any question in the pre-test was higher than in the post-test. 2. The children learned that not only adults can call the ambulance. 3. Before the program, all children were already aware that if “someone is very ill”, the ambulance should be called. 4. Among the questions about stroke symptoms, it is important that hemiparesis, facial paresis and speech/language disorder are clear symptoms for children. Based on the parental questionnaires, the knowledge of the adults can be judged to be very good. The same number of correct answers were received during the pre-test and the post-test, on the basis of which we could not calculate a transfer effect. However, it is important that the parents considered the program useful, motivating and important for the children, so cooperation can be expected in the future.

. Conclusion:

The Hungarian “Stroke Ovi” program has so far proven to be clearly effective. This was proven by the impact assessments even if, instead of the original role-playing game, we implemented it “only” online due to the COVID epidemic. This constraint also forced and created a new “Hungarian version”. Despite the small number of samples caused by the circumstances, we consider this positive effect to be measurable. However, as the main result and evidence, we evaluated the children’s reaction, which took shape in spontaneous drawings and displayed professional values in addition to positive emotional reactions, such as the drawing of ambulances, the recurring representation of the 112 number. With the involvement of the media, we think online education is also a good option in the series of stroke campaigns, but we think the original role-playing form is really effective. At the same time, we can see that the application of the new method requires great caution due to the education of developing children. For this reason, results can only be achieved through social and multidisciplinary cooperation involving neurologists, psychologists, kindergarten teachers, and parents.


COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Child , Adult , Humans , Pilot Projects , Students/psychology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/prevention & control
BMC Infect Dis ; 23(1): 325, 2023 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313094


BACKGROUND: Assessment for risks associated with acute stable COVID-19 is important to optimize clinical trial enrollment and target patients for scarce therapeutics. To assess whether healthcare system engagement location is an independent predictor of outcomes we performed a secondary analysis of the ACTIV-4B Outpatient Thrombosis Prevention trial. METHODS: A secondary analysis of the ACTIV-4B trial that was conducted at 52 US sites between September 2020 and August 2021. Participants were enrolled through acute unscheduled episodic care (AUEC) enrollment location (emergency department, or urgent care clinic visit) compared to minimal contact (MC) enrollment (electronic contact from test center lists of positive patients).We report the primary composite outcome of cardiopulmonary hospitalizations, symptomatic venous thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, stroke, transient ischemic attack, systemic arterial thromboembolism, or death among stable outpatients stratified by enrollment setting, AUEC versus MC. A propensity score for AUEC enrollment was created, and Cox proportional hazards regression with inverse probability weighting (IPW) was used to compare the primary outcome by enrollment location. RESULTS: Among the 657 ACTIV-4B patients randomized, 533 (81.1%) with known enrollment setting data were included in this analysis, 227 from AUEC settings and 306 from MC settings. In a multivariate logistic regression model, time from COVID test, age, Black race, Hispanic ethnicity, and body mass index were associated with AUEC enrollment. Irrespective of trial treatment allocation, patients enrolled at an AUEC setting were 10-times more likely to suffer from the adjudicated primary outcome, 7.9% vs. 0.7%; p < 0.001, compared with patients enrolled at a MC setting. Upon Cox regression analysis adjustment patients enrolled at an AUEC setting remained at significant risk of the primary composite outcome, HR 3.40 (95% CI 1.46, 7.94). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with clinically stable COVID-19 presenting to an AUEC enrollment setting represent a population at increased risk of arterial and venous thrombosis complications, hospitalization for cardiopulmonary events, or death, when adjusted for other risk factors, compared with patients enrolled at a MC setting. Future outpatient therapeutic trials and clinical therapeutic delivery programs of clinically stable COVID-19 patients may focus on inclusion of higher-risk patient populations from AUEC engagement locations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT04498273.

COVID-19 , Stroke , Venous Thrombosis , Humans , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Venous Thrombosis/drug therapy , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/prevention & control , Hospitalization
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 27(7): 3208-3217, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302653


OBJECTIVE: Healthcare systems have been put under intense pressure by the COVID-19 pandemic, although some studies have shown a decline in hospital admissions for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases during the first and second wave of the pandemic. In addition, studies analyzing gender and procedural differences are scarce. The present study aimed to determine the impact of the pandemic on hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in Andalusia (Spain) and analyzed differences by gender and by percutaneous coronary interventions performed. PATIENTS AND METHODS: An interrupted time series analysis of AMI and CVD hospital admissions in Andalusia (Spain) was carried out to measure the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. AMI and CVD cases admitted daily in public hospitals of Andalusia between January 2018 and December 2020 were included. RESULTS: During the pandemic, significant reductions in AMI [-19%; 95% confidence interval (CI): (-29%, -9%), p<0.001] and CVD [-17%; 95% CI: (-26%, -9%); p<0.01] in daily hospital admissions were observed. Differences were also produced according to the diagnosis (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, Non-ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, other AMI and stroke), with a greater reduction in females for AMI and in males for CVD. Although there were more percutaneous coronary interventions during the pandemic, no significant reductions were observed. CONCLUSIONS: A decline in AMI and CVD daily hospital admissions during the first and second wave of COVID-19 pandemic was noted. Gender differences were observed, but no clear impact was observed in percutaneous interventions.

COVID-19 , Myocardial Infarction , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention , Stroke , Male , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronary Vessels , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Spain/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/diagnosis
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 32(6): 107138, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302577


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic public health restrictions on our drip and ship mechanical thrombectomy program in Santiago Chile. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database comparing two cohorts, one during a two-year period before COVID-19 and the second during the two years of the pandemic at our metropolitan stroke program. RESULTS: A total of 100 patients were included in the pre COVID-19 cohort (cohort 1) and 121 in the COVID-19 cohort (cohort 2). There was a significant difference between cohorts, with older patients, different occlusion sites and higher door to arterial puncture time during the COVID-19 period. A non-significant trend for worse 90-day outcomes and higher mortality was present in cohort 2. There were no statistical differences in safety treatment parameters. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 pandemic has had a measurable impact on our mechanical thrombectomy program. Results showed similarities to other reported Latin American series, where less robust health systems could adapt less efficiently compared to developed countries. After two years of public health restrictions, there were changes in the treatment population characteristics, delay in some internal management metrics and a non-significant trend to worse 90-day outcomes and higher mortality.

Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Thrombectomy/adverse effects , Thrombectomy/methods , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , Treatment Outcome , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/therapy , Stroke/epidemiology
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 32(6): 107140, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291491


OBJECTIVE: To study factors associated with systolic blood pressure(SBP) control for patients post-discharge from an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack(TIA) during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to pre-pandemic periods within the Veterans Health Administration(VHA). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed retrospective data from patients discharged from Emergency Departments or inpatient admissions after an ischemic stroke or TIA. Cohorts consisted of 2,816 patients during March-September 2020 and 11,900 during the same months in 2017-2019. Outcomes included primary care or neurology clinic visits, recorded blood pressure readings and average blood pressure control in the 90-days post-discharge. Random effect logit models were used to compare clinical characteristics of the cohorts and relationships between patient characteristics and outcomes. RESULTS: The majority (73%) of patients with recorded readings during the COVID-19 period had a mean post-discharge SBP within goal (<140 mmHg); this was slightly lower than the pre-COVID-19 period (78%; p=0.001). Only 38% of the COVID-19 cohort had a recorded SBP in the 90-days post-discharge compared with 83% of patients during the pre-pandemic period (p=0.001). During the pandemic period, 29% did not have follow-up primary care or neurologist visits, and 33% had a phone or video visit without a recorded SBP reading. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with an acute cerebrovascular event during the initial COVID-19 period were less likely to have outpatient visits or blood pressure measurements than during the pre-pandemic period; patients with uncontrolled SBP should be targeted for follow-up hypertension management.

COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Humans , Blood Pressure/physiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/diagnosis , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Ischemic Attack, Transient/therapy , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Aftercare , Patient Discharge , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/therapy
J Am Heart Assoc ; 12(9): e029291, 2023 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2306127


Background COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and mortality. The association between vaccination and risk of cardiovascular complications shortly after SARS-CoV-2 infection among patients with cardiovascular disease remains unknown. Methods and Results A case-control study was conducted with cases defined as patients who had myocardial infarction or stroke within 28 days after SARS-CoV-2 infection between January 1, 2022 and August 15, 2022. Controls were defined as all other patients who attended any health services and were not cases. Individuals without history of cardiovascular disease were excluded. Each case was randomly matched with 10 controls according to sex, age, Charlson comorbidity index, and date of hospital admission. Adjusted odds ratio with 95% CI was estimated using conditional logistic regression. We identified 808 cases matched with 7771 controls among all patients with cardiovascular disease. Results showed that vaccination with BNT162b2 or CoronaVac was associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction or stroke after SARS-CoV-2 infection with a dose-response relationship. For BNT162b2, risk decreased from 0.49 (95% CI, 0.29-0.84) to 0.30 (95% CI, 0.20-0.44) and 0.17 (95% CI, 0.08-0.34) from 1 to 3 doses, respectively. Similar trends were observed for CoronaVac, with risk decreased from 0.69 (95% CI, 0.57-0.85) to 0.42 (95% CI, 0.34-0.52) and 0.32 (95% CI, 0.21-0.49) from 1 to 3 doses, respectively. Conclusions Vaccination with BNT162b2 or CoronaVac is associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction or stroke after SARS-CoV-2 infection among patients with cardiovascular disease.

COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Myocardial Infarction , Stroke , Humans , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , BNT162 Vaccine , Case-Control Studies , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/etiology , Stroke/prevention & control , Vaccination/adverse effects
J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis ; 32(4): 107036, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2273586


OBJECTIVES: Early in the pandemic, there was a substantial increase in telestroke uptake among hospitals. The motivations for using telestroke during the pandemic might have been different than for hospitals that adopted telestroke previously. We compared stroke care at hospitals that adopted telestroke prior to the pandemic to care at hospitals that adopted telestroke during the pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Stroke episodes and telestroke use were identified in Medicare Fee-for-Service Data. Hospital and episode characteristics were compared between pre-pandemic (Jan. 2019-Mar. 2020) and pandemic (Apr. 2020-Dec. 2020) adopters. RESULTS: Hospital bed counts, critical access statuses, stroke volumes, clinical operating margins, shares of stroke care via telestroke, and vascular neurology consult rates did not differ significantly between pre-pandemic and pandemic-adopting hospitals. Hospitals that never adopted telestroke during the study period were more likely to be small critical access hospitals with low clinical operating margins. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to hospitals that adopted telestroke before the pandemic, hospitals that adopted telestroke during the pandemic were similar in characteristics and how they used telestroke.

COVID-19 , Stroke , Telemedicine , Aged , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Pandemics , Medicare , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Thrombolytic Therapy
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 5587, 2023 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271412


The aim of our study was to assess whether a well-established federal state-wide Stroke Care Pathway delivering high quality stroke care can cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures to contain the virus spread. The retrospective analysis is based on a prospective, quality-controlled, population-based registry of all stroke patients in the Tyrol, a federal state of Austria and one of the early hot-spots of COVID-19 in Europe. Patient characteristics, pre-hospital management, intra-hospital management and post-hospital were analysed. All residents of the Tyrol suffering ischemic stroke in 2020 (n = 1160) and four pre-COVID-19 years (n = 4321) were evaluated. In 2020, the annual number of stroke patients was the highest in this population-based registry. When local hospitals were overwhelmed with SARS-CoV-2-patients, stroke subjects were temporarily allocated to the comprehensive stroke centre. Stroke severity, quality metrics of stroke management, serious complications, and post-stroke mortality did not differ between 2020 and the four comparator years. Notably, iv. thrombolysis-rate was similar (19.9% versus 17.4%, P = 0.25) and endovascular stroke treatment even better (5.9% versus 3.9%, P = 0.003) but resources for in-patient rehabilitation were limited (25.8% versus 29.8%, P = 0.009). Concluding, a well-established Stroke Care Pathway was able to maintain high-quality acute stroke care even when challenged by a global pandemic.

COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Retrospective Studies , Prospective Studies , Critical Pathways , Stroke/epidemiology
PLoS One ; 18(2): e0282325, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2279290


OBJECTIVE: To explore experiences, needs and rehabilitation priorities of patients who had their stroke and the experiences of therapists managing stroke patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Exploratory qualitative study. SETTING: Acute, sub-acute and community stroke facilities. SUBJECTS: Twenty-two participants. Twelve therapists (all female, mean age 38.5 years) and ten patients (9 female, mean age 51.1 years) who were involved in stroke rehabilitation during the pandemic were interviewed. METHODS: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interviews were recorded and transcribed before being analysed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach. RESULTS: Four main themes demonstrate the modifications in the care system as a result of COVID-19, impact on the stroke patients at different stage, needs and priorities of stroke rehabilitation, and management strategies that have been used in stroke rehabilitation. Remote rehabilitation and self-management strategies were recommended to deliver care for stroke patients. However, therapists seemed unsatisfied with the quality of care delivered and patients suggested face to face delivery of care with proper personal protection equipment to better address their physical and mental health needs. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study explored the impact of the pandemic on stroke care from the perspective of the patients and therapists and provides suggestions for improved delivery of care in similar situations. Future research is warranted to examine the long-term effects on people who had inadequate post-stroke rehabilitation during covid pandemic and urgent measures taken to reduce the impact the pandemic has had on the physical and mental issues for these patients.

COVID-19 , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Allied Health Personnel
Neurol Sci ; 44(6): 1849-1853, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275064


BACKGROUND: Measures adopted to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 could have led to a reduction in the rate of non-COVID-19 infections. We assessed whether a similar reduction was present in patients with stroke. METHODS: We performed a hospital-based study nested in a prospective population-based registry. We compared prevalence of infections and in-hospital mortality in subjects admitted for acute stroke between the first pandemic year (study period, from March 2020 to February 2021) and the pre-pandemic year (control period, from March 2019 to February 2020). Infections were reported as pneumonia (PNA), urinary tract infections (UTI), and any infection (INF). RESULTS: From the control (n = 677) to the study period (n = 520), the prevalence of INF decreased from 11.5 to 4.6% (p < 0.001) and that of PNA decreased from 6.9 to 2.5% (p = 0.001). No changes in in-hospital mortality and length of hospital stay were observed between the two periods. CONCLUSIONS: The observed reduction of in-hospital pneumonias in patients with stroke was likely attributable to the use of protective measures and limitation of hospital visits. Maintaining some of those measures in the long term may contribute to control infections in hospitalized patients with stroke.

COVID-19 , Pneumonia , Stroke , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Stroke/complications , Stroke/epidemiology , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Pneumonia/etiology , Hospitals , Retrospective Studies
Med J Aust ; 218(3): 120-125, 2023 02 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2283168


OBJECTIVES: To assess emergency department (ED) presentation numbers in Queensland during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to mid-2021, a period of relatively low COVID-19 case numbers. DESIGN: Interrupted time series analysis. SETTING: All 105 Queensland public hospital EDs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Numbers of ED presentations during the COVID-19 lockdown period (11 March 2020 - 30 June 2020) and the period of easing restrictions (1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021), compared with pre-pandemic period (1 January 2018 - 10 March 2020), overall (daily numbers) and by Australasian Triage Scale (ATS; daily numbers) and selected diagnostic categories (cardiac, respiratory, mental health, injury-related conditions) and conditions (stroke, sepsis) (weekly numbers). RESULTS: During the lockdown period, the mean number of ED presentations was 19.4% lower (95% confidence interval, -20.9% to -17.9%) than during the pre-pandemic period (predicted mean number: 5935; actual number: 4786 presentations). The magnitudes of the decline and the time to return to predicted levels varied by ATS category and diagnostic group; changes in presentation numbers were least marked for ATS 1 and 2 (most urgent) presentations, and for presentations with cardiac conditions or stroke. Numbers remained below predicted levels during the 12-month post-lockdown period for ATS 5 (least urgent) presentations and presentations with mental health problems, respiratory conditions, or sepsis. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic and related public restrictions were associated with profound changes in health care use. Pandemic plans should include advice about continuing to seek care for serious health conditions and health emergencies, and support alternative sources of care for less urgent health care needs.

COVID-19 , Stroke , Humans , Pandemics , Queensland , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Stroke/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
CNS Neurosci Ther ; 29(3): 757-759, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288763
Crit Care Med ; 51(8): 1043-1053, 2023 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288178


OBJECTIVES: Evidence of cerebrovascular complications in COVID-19 requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is limited. Our study aims to characterize the prevalence and risk factors of stroke secondary to COVID-19 in patients on venovenous ECMO. DESIGN: We analyzed prospectively collected observational data, using univariable and multivariable survival modeling to identify risk factors for stroke. Cox proportional hazards and Fine-Gray models were used, with death and discharge treated as competing risks. SETTING: Three hundred eighty institutions in 53 countries in the COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium (COVID Critical) registry. PATIENTS: Adult COVID-19 patients who were supported by venovenous ECMO. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Five hundred ninety-five patients (median age [interquartile range], 51 yr [42-59 yr]; male: 70.8%) had venovenous ECMO support. Forty-three patients (7.2%) suffered strokes, 83.7% of which were hemorrhagic. In multivariable survival analysis, obesity (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.19; 95% CI, 1.05-4.59) and use of vasopressors before ECMO (aHR, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.08-5.22) were associated with an increased risk of stroke. Forty-eight-hour post-ECMO Pa co2 -pre-ECMO Pa co2 /pre-ECMO Pa co2 (relative ΔPa co2 ) of negative 26% and 48-hour post-ECMO Pa o2 -pre-ECMO Pa o2 /pre-ECMO Pa o2 (relative ΔPa o2 ) of positive 24% at 48 hours of ECMO initiation were observed in stroke patients in comparison to relative ΔPa co2 of negative 17% and relative ΔPa o2 of positive 7% in the nonstroke group. Patients with acute stroke had a 79% in-hospital mortality compared with 45% mortality for stroke-free patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights the association of obesity and pre-ECMO vasopressor use with the development of stroke in COVID-19 patients on venovenous ECMO. Also, the importance of relative decrease in Pa co2 and moderate hyperoxia within 48 hours after ECMO initiation were additional risk factors.

COVID-19 , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Stroke , Adult , Humans , Male , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/adverse effects , Carbon Dioxide , Retrospective Studies , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/etiology , Obesity
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 4429, 2023 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286255


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption to health care systems around the globe. Stroke is still an ongoing issue during the pandemic. We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on emergent stroke care in Beijing, China. This is a retrospective analysis of two groups of patients with acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) registered in the Beijing Emergency Care Database between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020. Based on a database including 77 stroke centres, the quantity and quality of emergency care for stroke were compared. Subgroup analyses based on hospitals in different areas (high-risk and low/medium-risk areas) were carried out. A total of 6440 and 8699 admissions with suspected stroke were recorded in 2020 and 2019, respectively. There were no significant differences in the mean age and sex distribution for the patients between the two observational periods. The number of AIS admissions decreased by approximately 23.9% during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to that during the prepandemic period. The proportions of intravenous thrombolysis and endovascular treatment were 76.4% and 13.1%, respectively, in 2020, which were higher than those in 2019 (71.7% and 9.3%, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference in the time from stroke onset to arrival at the hospital (97.97 ± 23.09 min vs. 99.40 ± 20.76 min, p = 0.832) between the two periods. The door-to-needle time for thrombolysis (44.92 ± 9.20 min vs. 42.37 ± 9.06 min, p < 0.001) and door-to-thrombectomy time (138.56 ± 32.45 min vs. 120.55 ± 32.68 min, p < 0.001) were increased significantly in the pandemic period compared to those in the prepandemic period, especially in hospitals in high-risk areas. The decline in the number of patients with AIS and delay in treatment started after the launch of the level-1 public health emergency response and returned to stability after the release of professional protocols and consensus statements. Disruptions to medical services during the COVID-19 pandemic have substantially impacted AIS patients, with a clear drop in admission and a decline in the quality of emergent AIS care, especially in hospitals in high-risk areas and at the time of the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Health care systems need to maintain rapid adaptation to possible outbreaks of COVID-19 or similar crises in the future.

Brain Ischemia , COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/therapy , Beijing , Pandemics , Brain Ischemia/therapy , Retrospective Studies , Thrombolytic Therapy/methods , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/therapy
Eur Stroke J ; 8(1): 268-274, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252378


Introduction: Evidence-based early stroke care as reflected by fulfillment of process performance measures, is strongly related to better patient outcomes after stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Detailed data on the resilience of stroke care services during the COVID-19 pandemic are limited. We aimed to examine the quality of early stroke care at Danish hospitals during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and methods: We extracted data from Danish national health registries in five time periods (11 March, 2020-27 January, 2021) and compared these to a baseline pre-pandemic period (13 March, 2019-10 March, 2020). Quality of early stroke care was assessed as fulfilment of individual process performance measures and as a composite measure (opportunity-based score). Results: A total of 23,054 patients were admitted with stroke and 8153 with a TIA diagnosis in the entire period. On a national level, the opportunity-based score (95% confidence interval [CI]) at baseline for ischemic patients was 81.1% (80.8-81.4), for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) 85.5% (84.3-86.6), and for TIA 96.0% (95.3-96.1). An increase of 1.1% (0.1-2.2) and 1.5% (0.3-2.7) in the opportunity-based score was observed during the first national lockdown period for AIS and TIA followed by a decline of -1.3% (-2.2 to -0.4) in the gradual reopening phase for AIS indicators. We found a significant negative association between regional incidence rates and quality-of-care in ischemic stroke patients implying that quality decreases when admission rates increase. Conclusion: The quality of acute stroke/TIA care in Denmark remained high during the early phases of the pandemic and only minor fluctuations occurred.

COVID-19 , Ischemic Attack, Transient , Stroke , Humans , Ischemic Attack, Transient/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Stroke/epidemiology