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Safe Reintroduction of Cardiovascular Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance from North American Society Leadership Part 1 of 2

Wood DA, Mahmud E, Thourani VH, et.al. Safe Reintroduction of Cardiovascular Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance from North American Society Leadership, Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/ j.jacc.2020.04.063.

Key Points:

  • A consortium entitled the North American Cardiovascular Societies has published a document describing considerations in reestablishing cardiovascular (CV) services in the setting of COVID – 19.
  • The need for CV services is critical as many stable but high-risk patients have been deferred along with more routine cases, all potentially magnified by a subset of patients who have deferred seeking evaluation or treatment who are likely to present with more complex or serious and/or acute problems.

A Summary of strategies include:

  • Ethical considerations – should include care decisions based on maximum benefit vs. risk of spreading the virus emphasizing that decisions should be fair given various ethnic and social risks.
  • Decisions must be made in conjunction with local and regional public and other healthcare administrations and leaders to assure plans meet the needs of a community while representing the needs of high-risk CV previously deferred patients.
  • Imperative in the decision process is the protection of patients and Health Care Workers including appropriate distancing, testing for COVID – 19 prior to non-urgent procedures and effective PPE. Noninfected patients and staff need to be protected from the risk of exposure to COVID – 19 patients.

Part II: Specific Practice recommendations from this document will be presented separately.