The COVID-19 pandemic is upon us and almost all heart research at the UMCG cardiology research center has stopped. But now is not the time to forget about our patients and our mission. In particular because patients with heart disease are at a very high risk to become severely ill form COVID-19. For that purpose we would like to share this urgent webcast from the president of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Prof. dr. Barbara Casadei where she provides an update on COVID-19 and its relation to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The webcast conveys two important messages:
1.) We must not forget the needs of patients with CVD
Casadei: ‘it needs to be clear that ‘don’t come to the hospital’ does not apply to patients with acute coronary syndrome or other acute syndromes.’ Recent statistics have shown that less CVD-related hospitalizations have occurred in the COVID-19 affected areas, implicating that patients do not present with initial symptoms but only in later severe stages such as in cardiogenic shock. Casadei emphasizes the necessity to stimulate patients to come to the hospital if symptoms of an acute syndrome occur, especially because CVD patients are at a higher risk to become severely ill from COVID-19.
2.) Think outside the hospital and lobby hard to instigate a lockdown
‘Lockdown works’ according to the statistics shown by Casadei. Impressive statistics show that the number of deaths have reduced but also the number of new infections after commencing lockdown in Italy and Spain. She states that lockdown works and it will buy precious time for everyone.
In summary, the main message conducts that we must all engage inside and outside the hospital!