International Study on Impact of COVID 19 on Cardiac and Thoracic Aortic
Background: The COVID19 pandemic gripped every nation’s healthcare
system and provisions on all levels. In cardiac and aortic surgery, as
it is with most specialities, elective surgeries were halted. Aims of
the study: We captured reflections, contingencies, and current practices
across of high-volume centres in cardiac and aortic surgery globally. We
also aimed this study to assess decision on prioritization of the
surgical patients, the need for personal protection equipment and choice
of preoperative investigations in current dynamic and fluid climate.
Methods: A validated web-based questionnaire was constructed and was
circulated to the international surgeons amongst high volume cardiac and
aortic surgery centres. Their intrinsic feedback on decision making,
impact of the lockdown and perspectives for the future ahead us all were
noted. Mixed method approach was constructed. Qualitative data analysis
was introduced to signify the impact globally. Results: Overall, 23
centers from 18 countries participated in this international study.
91.7% of the respondents stopped operating on elective patients during
the pandemic. Majority of the surgeons agreed that acute aortic
dissection (87.1%) should be operated as emergency procedure and stable
triple vessel disease (87.1%) to be considered as elective procedure.
Three-fifth (60%) of the respondents relied on CT chest as a
preoperative screening modality. Conclusion: In the present climate
where there is paucity of evidence, this will give an interim consensus
for the cardiac surgeons. With the increase in cumulative number of
COVID19 patients, careful utilization of the resources regarding
hospital beds and manpower is of paramount importance.