LATAM: Information on the Impact of the Pandemic with a Focus on MI

Manejo de los infartos durante la pandemia de Covid-19

There are several studies from all corners of the world (China, Europe, USA) presenting data on the impact of COVID19 on interventional cardiology in general, and on MI in particular.

What is new about this study is that it presents data on LATAM and that it has been published in an international magazine. 

Seldom do we have the chance to count on data of such scientific rigor in our region. 

We interviewed Dr. Jorge Mayol (main author and ex Director of SOLACI Regional Sessions) who summarized for us its most relevant points.

  • This study is the result of the collaboration between Stent-Save a Life Latin America and SOLACI’s MI Reperfusion Group, and was aimed at quantifying the variation in hemodynamic activity after COVID-19. The study also looked at STEMI management, and the health of team members. 
  • Researchers compared the activity in 2 periods that varied according to countries: before (February 24 to March 8) and after lockdown (March 30 to April 12) across Latin American. 
  • 84 centers of the 20 SOLACI country members provided their data, which makes this sample quite significative. 
  • The work of interventional cardiologists dropped by 64.1%, with a few differences between countries.
  • Even though coordination procedures such structural cardiomyopathies were the most affected (86.1%), emergency procedures (such as primary PCI) were also negatively affected (51.2% drop).
  • Most physicians referred far fewer MI diagnoses post-COVID-19 and with longer delay to reperfusion. This homogeneous response across LATAM matches the observations from other parts of the world. 
  • Most physicians feel the use of thrombolytics has not increased despite the longer delay, which differs from other regions. Finally, and on the same line of other publications published on, researchers show concern about the reduced number of consultations for MI. 
  • Local governments are not publishing data on increased CAD morbidity and mortality, as if the only existing disease were COVID-19. 

Finally, and in the same vein as other publications made on, the decrease in consultations for heart attacks is worrying.

Read also: Guías “transitorias y de emergencia” para infartos durante la pandemia.

All this increase in morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases is not published in the daily reports of governments, as if the only disease at this time was the infection by COVID-19.

There is no bigger risk than the risk of acute coronary syndrome, stroke, or aortic dissection at home, not even the risk of COVID. 

During the interview, Dr. Jorge Mayol raised this concern and stated the need for health authorities and scientific communities to alert the population: “Cardiovascular emergency symptoms should receive medical care immediately”.

Read also: Manejo de los infartos durante la pandemia de Covid-19.

This study reflects our strength, as it shows we can work as a team to promote, educate, and organize reperfusion across the continent. 

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Original Title: An international survey in Latin America on the practice of interventional cardiology during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on myocardial infarction.

Reference: J. Mayol et al. Netherlands Heart Journal volume 28, pages424–430(2020).

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