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April 21, 2020

ESC Publishes Guidance for the Diagnosis and Management of Heart Disease During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 21, 2020—The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) announced the publication of guidance on managing cardiovascular disease during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Because the novel coronavirus not only causes viral pneumonia but also has major implications for the cardiovascular system, the ESC provides this guidance based on advice from leading experts treating COVID-19 patients. The society notes that heart and stroke patients are more likely to have severe cases of COVID-19, as are people with other risk factors, including advanced age, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. In addition, COVID-19 patients may develop heart damage, which raises their chance of dying.

According to the ESC, this detailed document provides healthcare professionals the best available knowledge, based on practical experience, on how to diagnose and manage cardiovascular conditions in COVID-19 patients, treat the coronavirus infection, and organize and prioritize care.

"ESC Guidance for the Diagnosis and Management of CV Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic" is available online and will be updated as more evidence is gathered.

As noted in the guidance, patients with cardiovascular risk factors and established cardiovascular disease represent a vulnerable population when experiencing COVID-19, and patients with cardiac injury in the context of COVID-19 have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality.

The guidance addresses the following topics:

  • Epidemiology
  • Pathophysiology–Mechanism of Disease in Relation with the Cardiovascular System
  • Strategies for Diagnosing SARS-CoV-2
  • Protective Measures for Health Care Personnel and Patients in Cardiology
  • Triage Systems (Reorganization and Redistribution)
  • Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Conditions in COVID-19 Patients
  • Categorization of Emergency/Urgency of Invasive Procedures
  • Management/Treatment Pathways
  • Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Patient Information

The ESC regularly updates its COVID-19 and Cardiology webpage.

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